During national Op Sceptre knife crime awareness week, we want to clarify the law around carrying knives:

It is an offence to carry any sharp or bladed instrument in a public place, with the exception of a folding pocket knife, which has a blade that is 7.62 cm (3 inches) or less.

If the blade locks whatever the length of the knife it is illegal to carry it in a public place - without a lawful reason.

If there is no reason for you to have any sharp or bladed instrument on your person in a public place this could be considered an offensive weapon and you could still be breaking the law.

If you think you have a good reason to carry any sharp or bladed instrument, just because you think it is lawful it doesn't mean that it is and you may still be required to argue this in court. for example still carrying a knife you use for work, outside of working hours.

Lawful reasons could include:

  • For work or going to do DIY. But this is not always a good enough reason. You may be asked to prove that you are on your way to that place of work. 
  • You have just purchased a new kitchen knife, or you are taking old ones to the recycling centre.
  • You may require a bladed article for hobbies including martial arts or scouting
  • We will always consider the context in which are carrying a knife or bladed article. E.g. Carrying a work knife on you when you're down the pub | Carrying a small pen knife in a night club at 1am | Keeping a knife other than a folding pocket knife in your car, regardless of its purpose.

If you choose to carry a knife just because it is lawful statistics show that you are more likely to be injured or even killed.

This week we want to remind you about the consequences of knife crime and what you can do to tackle it. Steps that may seem small but could make a huge difference. 

You may think these points don't apply to you and your family, and you are not breaking the law. We know that most people do not carry a knife with the intention of threatening or harming someone else. However if we are all going to tackle knife crime, we need you to think...
• Is it necessary for you to be carrying a knife or blade article? 
• Check - are you breaking the law? 
• If it is necessary and lawful, are you carrying it as safely as possible so it is not going to harm you or anyone else by accident? 
This is an approach we all need to take. 

By taking action and by talking about the subject we can raise awareness and educate our communities about the risks and consequences of knife crime. 

Knife crime can have a devastating impact on a community, a family and an individual - let's work together to stop it and protect lives.

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