What do we mean by an offensive weapon? 

An offensive weapon is “any article made or adapted for use to cause injury to a person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use”. 

What you need to know 

Weapons

It’s an offence to carry a knife or a gun, even if it is an imitation you will be arrested and could be prosecuted. Using a weapon whilst committing a crime is considered more serious and you are much likely to receive a longer sentence.

Knife Crime

Knife crime is devastating for victims their family and the wider community.

Knife crime includes any crimes that involve the use of a sharpened weapon, blade or offensive weapon. The way these types of weapons can be used means there are a number of different types of knife crime.

There are also certain knives that are banned in the UK meaning you could be arrested and charged simply for owning one. These include; flick knives, butterfly knives, disguised knives, sword-sticks and gravity knives.

Knives are the most common weapons used in the killings of young people and if someone is injured or killed in the presence of other young people they could be sent to prison for murder or attempted murder under 'joint enterprise'.

Social

Reports of stabbings in the news increase the fear and worry in the community. Some young people may feel that if other young people are carrying knives, they should be doing the same and carrying a knife for protection. More knives on the street only leads to one outcome – more people getting hurt.

Physical

If someone is stabbed the wound and trauma to the body could tragically result in death. Although some people believe there are ‘safe’ areas of the body to stab this isn’t true. Arteries in the body carry your precious blood all over the body. A stab wound in the legs and arms should be treated as seriously as those in the neck or chest.

If someone is stabbed and survive, they could still experience long term physical effects. If you look at a stab wound it is usually a short wound on the surface of the skin - but very deep in your body, this will of course vary depending on the type of weapon used. This type of internal wound means that the affected area may be prone to infection and as a result may never heal properly.

Physiological

The victim - If someone survives being stabbed, they will still have experienced major trauma to your body. It is likely to take you a long time to heal. They might find it difficult going out on their own. They might be frightened they will be attacked again. They may have survived and experienced a nasty crime but may have bad dreams reliving it.
It is also likely to have an impact on family and friends who will be worried.

The offender - If a person really had the intention to stab and kill someone, they may feel happy when you find out your victim has died. In reality this is not often the case. How do you think you will really feel? How will your family feel about what you have done? You are very likely to get caught, so will face a long time in prison. Are you ready and prepared to do this? These may be questions that the offender will have to answer if they do get charged with murder. Only they will know the right answers.

If you carry a knife or weapon 

  • If you are involved in stabbing another person and they die you could face a minimum of 10 years in prison.  
  • If you are part of a group or gang where a knife is used and someone is killed or injured joint enterprise applies. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t you use the knife, if you are with them you could also be prosecuted for the assault and face a lengthy prison sentence. 
  • You are putting yourself more at risk of injury.  
  • People who carry a weapon are more likely to be injured.  
  • You could be killed. 
  • You could get up to five years in prison, even if the knife or weapon is not used. 
  • You could hurt or injure others including innocent people  

If you are caught carrying an offensive weapon or involved in an incident where an offensive 

  • If you are involved in stabbing another person and they die you could face a minimum of 10 years in prison. 
  • If you are part of a group or gang where a knife is used and someone is killed or injured joint enterprise applies. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t you use the knife, if you are with them you could also be prosecuted for the assault and face a lengthy prison sentence.

GUN CRIME

As a proportion of total crime, gun crime is very low in the UK. That being said the consequences are just as devastating.

Imitation guns like BB GUNS are often sold as toys in the UK. Even though they do not fire out real bullets, they can still cause serious harm to others. Under the Firearms Act 1968, “An imitation firearm is anything which has the appearance of being a firearm”- this includes BB Guns and Air guns. If someone is seen carrying an ‘imitation firearm’ in public you could be given a sentence of six months in prison.

For more information and support  

#Knifefree

The Ben Kinsella Trust

Lives Not Knives

No knives better lives

Your Choice Your Future

Childline - 0800 800 800

Fearless - online reporting
Give information online - 100% anonymously and safely