It’s nearly Christmas in case you hadn’t noticed. We are on the look out for stocking fillers but beware of that clever little item which could cause a big headache.
Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 makes it illegal to have a knife in a public place unless it is a folding knife with a blade less than three inches. So, a pocket knife should be fine, you might think. But not so if it has a blade which can be locked in to position. This might include a high end (or low end) multi tool which has a lockable blade (many do).
It also includes those clever little blades which fold in to a plastic folding handle and are a credit card size. Once extended, the blade is locked by the plastic handle folding and clipping together. We know this is an illegal knife because a High Court decision last month has confirmed that. These types of knives can be bought for pennies on the internet. But, if you are found with one and you cannot convince the Court that you had it with you for a good reason or with lawful authority, you could end up with a prison sentence.
As the police ratchet up their response to the increasing level of knife crime, it would be foolish to carry any knife (particularly one which you can carry all the time in your wallet for no significant good reason).
Stay safe and keep your loved ones safe. Any blade which locks in to position is illegal to have in a public place regardless of how expensive (or cheap) it is to buy.
If you need advice on any aspect of criminal law, contact Hugh Rowland on 01473 298140.