Offensive Weapons

It is against the law to carry an offensive weapon in a public place without a reasonable explanation. An offensive weapon can be anything if it is used in a threatening way, although most commonly it is a sharp object that is made for the purpose, such as a knife, or has been adapted for use as an offensive weapon, such as a bottle that has been broken.

There is a complete ban on the sale of certain types of knives such as Flick knives, Butterfly knives or Disguised knives, which are categorised as offensive weapons regardless of their use. These are considered so dangerous that there is a maximum penalty of four years in prison and/or a £5000 fine.

It is illegal for any shop to sell a knife of any kind, including cutlery and kitchen knives, to anyone under the age of 18.

Knives where the blade folds into the handle, like a Swiss Army Knife, aren't illegal as long as the blade is shorter than three inches or 7.62 cms.

Remember, Police officers may stop and search any person or vehicle if they suspect of an offence, including carrying an offensive weapon. If you have a knife that you would like to dispose of safely, please contact your local policing team.

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