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Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

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Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby shootist » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:49 pm

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-to-consult-on-new-laws-on-offensive-weapons

A classic example of the government seeking to make legislation on the back of a real issue (acid attacks) while taking the opportunity to screw some other things a little bit tighter. This item has picked up my interest for some obvious reasons but one question I have is about the title line of my post.

amendments to threatening with a knife or offensive weapon offence to lower the standard of proof for prosecutors


I'm completely unaware of any specific legislation to do with 'threatening with a knife or offensive weapon'. I would have thought that existing legislation is entirely sufficient to deal with anyone using a knife or offensive weapon to (unlawfully) threaten another person. Certainly not anything that would require a lowering of the standard of proof. Have I missed something?
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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby CP09 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:48 am

Possibly, you should allow for the circumstances of the statement.

At a party conference it's often the case that someone seizes an opportunity to make political capital from any "law and order" topic.
Whether this is a duplication of existing law, practically impossible*, or totally unrealistic doesn't matter - the person is now perceived as being "tough on crime".

The only way to realistically lower the standard of proof is to make possession of a knife or offensive weapon an offence of threatening with a knife or offensive weapon...

*See, for example, Amber Rudd on end to end electronic security. We know criminals use it, so we must force the internet companies to let us read it. The whole point being that no-one can intercept and read that - unless you're GCHQ or NSA...
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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby diy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:09 pm

You can see the challenges they are facing here:
http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/offe ... _articles/

I'm deeply suspicious of any move to restrict carrying blades/offensive weapons. There are morally innocent* people who've been convicted and this will get worse.

i.e. people who happen to have a camping knife or multi-tool in their bag,, but don't have a reason, within the defence criteria.

For example I don't have a safety knife in my sailing life jacket, because I fear being accused of having a knife, if I happen to have my life jacket on, about me, in my bag, car etc..

I hope I never need a means to quickly free myself and not have a knife to do it.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby shootist » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:43 pm

OK, a browse there reveals...

Section 139AA of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 makes it an offence to unlawfully and intentionally threaten another person with an offensive weapon or bladed article in a public place or on school premises, in such a way that there is an immediate risk of serious physical harm to that other person.


That gives me the part I missed at least. At risk of being accused of making a pun, I think it a pointless addition to the act.
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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby atticus » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:49 pm

I believe that that section was inserted into the Criminal Justice Act 1988 by the Something Must Be Done Act.
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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby CP09 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:58 pm

diy wrote:.

For example I don't have a safety knife in my sailing life jacket, because I fear being accused of having a knife, if I happen to have my life jacket on, about me, in my bag, car etc..

I hope I never need a means to quickly free myself and not have a knife to do it.


I have a safety knife tied to my buoyancy aid - it floats, folds, has a scolloped blade, but no point and the blade is less than the prescribed maximum length.;
I could use a more substantial one - but only if I'm travelling to/from sailing centre as an instructor.!

If you want a recommendation, pm me

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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby shootist » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:33 pm

https://www.heinnie.com/outdoor-edge-zip-blade
As a rescue knife I can recommend the above product (other vendors are available). Regardless of blade length I think that carrying it in a car for the purposes of rescue would be good enough reason. It also perform excellently in gutting rabbits. It lacks only the ability to float, but if a floating version could be found then again I suspect that it would be good reason to carry in a car for rescue.
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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby dls » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:27 am

"the Something Must Be Done Act." The word 'the' suggest that there is only one. There are, sadly, many.
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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby CP09 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:32 am

The problem comes with the legislation and its interpretation by the police officer.
[url[https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives/url]

The basics are:-
a blade less than 3 inches
Folding ( not a lock knife, gravity knife, nor rigid)
Blunt point
Is ok to carry in public, although its use an offensive weapon is still illegal.
The knife I use for dinghy sailing meets all of these requirements and has a slot for use in undoin shackle pins.

Other instructors carry different implements, sheath knives, safety cutters (T shaped cutters with the blade almost enclosed -great for cutting webbing), multitools etc.
Carrying these to/from place of work/home would fall under "reasonable use", but as DiY points out, remember to take it out of the car when not needed. The police website states that "reasonable use" would be determined by a court, so I expect that any police officer would arrest first, then charge rather than take a chance.

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Re: Threats with knives or offensive weapons.

Postby shootist » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:56 am

CP09 wrote:The problem comes with the legislation and its interpretation by the police officer.
[url[https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives/url]

The basics are:-
a blade less than 3 inches
Folding ( not a lock knife, gravity knife, nor rigid)
Blunt point
Is ok to carry in public, although its use an offensive weapon is still illegal.
The knife I use for dinghy sailing meets all of these requirements and has a slot for use in undoin shackle pins.

Other instructors carry different implements, sheath knives, safety cutters (T shaped cutters with the blade almost enclosed -great for cutting webbing), multitools etc.
Carrying these to/from place of work/home would fall under "reasonable use", but as DiY points out, remember to take it out of the car when not needed. The police website states that "reasonable use" would be determined by a court, so I expect that any police officer would arrest first, then charge rather than take a chance.

Colin


I regret to say that this is an example of self banning that is all too common in the UK. I usually carry a very large crowbar in the boot of my car, for rescue purposes. No problem there of course. I also used to carry a pickaxe handle for no other reason than that's where I decided to keep it. Perfectly lawful. Carrying a knife of the type I describe is, IMO, equally reasonable and, again IMO, lawful. Assuming you carry ID then as police officer would have to be fairly incompetent to arrest a person carrying such a knife. The downside being that there is no shortage of incompetent police officers. The upside being that the arrest would almost certainly be unlawful, not being necessary, and would eventually pay for a nice holiday.

It's rare that I would volunteer to be a test case but I would be happy to do so in this instance. The purpose of the type of knife I have described is self evident and obviously so, and that purpose is clearly lawful.
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