View Single Post
Old 18-09-2009, 10:36 PM
Mr Yarrow Mr Yarrow is offline
So far so good!
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Satanage
Posts: 65
Mr Yarrow is on a distinguished road
Smile Law on carrying a knife in the UK

To be clear from the start I am NOT a lawyer, however I know a few VERY clever legal eagles and I have picked up the following by listening to their great advice

Secion 139 is the main law that governs carrying a knife in public. This refers to Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 in which it is laid out the rules for what knife types can and cant be carried without further justification. To quote the law;

Offence of having article with blade or point in public place (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5) below, any person who has an article to which this section applies with him in a public place shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, this section applies to any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except a folding pocketknife.

(3) This section applies to a folding pocketknife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3 inches.

(4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in a public place.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had the article with him—
(a) for use at work;
(b) for religious reasons; or
(c) as part of any national costume.

(6) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(7) In this section “public place” includes any place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted access, whether on payment or otherwise.

(8) This section shall not have effect in relation to anything done before it comes into force.

In general terms this means a standard sized swiss army knife (a spartan for example) is ok to carry without needing a good reason.

Originally this meant a sub 3 inch locking knife could be carried as well without good reason, however a few years after the 1988 law a test case was made Harris V. Dpp - The end result was that a locking knife became classed the same as a fixed blade.

In real terms this means that if its a Spyderco Calypso Jnr you are carrying, then even though the blade is under 3 inches, the locking mechanism means you need a good reason to carry it in public.

Reply With Quote