Law on carrying a knife

Scapegoat

Well-Known Member
I will just reiterate, it is illegal to carry a knife in a public place without good reason, apart from a non locking knife with a blade less than 3 inches.
The good reason for doing so is up to you to prove, it is not illegal to carry a knife in your car, despite it being defined as a public place, for example if i went to Tesco's( a shop), and bought some knives it would not be illegal for me to take them home in my car, however if I left them in my car for a few days and was stopped for speeding on my way to work, that could well be a criminal offence, as there would be no logical reason for me to have them in my car.( unless there was a good reason as defined under the law, for EG: I was a cook and the knives were tools of my trade, etc) which i would have to prove.

Which gives you the defence under section 139 of the 1988 Act. Without that good reason the offence is complete.

To the letter of the law, if you have good reason to have that knife with you in the car (which whether we like it or not is considered to be a public place until it is on private land) then you are not breaking the law by having it on your belt or in your pocket while you nip into the garage/Co-Op or whatever. In other words, you had it with you in a public place in both scenarios. There is no distinction in law .

I can't understand anyone who would advise anyone to carry a knife into a garage, or their local co-op,
I didn't. I specifically said it wasn't a good idea, and that you should apply common sense and leave it in the car. However, if you have a good reason to have it with you in the first place, then it doesn't matter whether it's in your belt, your pocket or the car. The defence of having a good reason is sufficient for you to avoid conviction. I emphasised the bit about no distinction in law so that I could move onto the next paragraph which you have chosen to exclude, which was the bit where I said it wasn't a good idea as it would cause concern.

Incidentally the only reason it was put into Law your car was a public place, was it allowed the Police to search it without a warrant.

You'll be able to point out where it says this in law then? Think about it logically. If the police are empowered to search a car without warrant, it would be for evidence of an offence, in this instance a bladed or pointed article. If having it in the car (without good reason) was legal, then it wouldn't be evidence of an offence would it?
 

kes

Well-Known Member
Interesting though that a defence of 'I forgot they were there after visiting Tesco to buy them and they fell down by the passenger seat' would get you arrested, or should that be could ?
I dont think I'd go to bat with that one.
 

purdeydog

Well-Known Member
A car isn’t a public place. It can be in public place, which obviously opens it and you up to various laws and when are in it.
 

Scapegoat

Well-Known Member
A car isn’t a public place. It can be in public place, which obviously opens it and you up to various laws and when are in it.
What is a public place?
A public place includes any highway and any premises or places to which, at the material time, the public have or are allowed to have access. A car is also considered as a public place, unless it was parked on private property at the time.

 

Fadcode

Well-Known Member
What is a public place?
Any highway and any premises or places to which the public, at the material time, have or are allowed to have access is considered a public place. This can also include a car, unless it happens to be parked on private property at the time.

In Scotland a car would probably not be considered a public place, as you could refuse permission for the Police to search it......if you had the balls.
 

The Talisman

Well-Known Member
Slightly different from above, I was at the Midlands Fair last weekend and a lady in her 50 and her son who was about 15 were in the process of purchasing a knife, the mother was buying the knife as a present for her son, and believed me this knife was not for Hunting/ Stalking.
Why would you do this, very bad example.
I remember at the midlands game fair last year, I was shocked by the amount of so called zombie hunting knives & daggers that were available to buy. Yes, I get knives for stalking etc, but some of these knives were totally ridiculous, doesnt really do our sport much good to onlookers.
 

starr shot

Well-Known Member
Interesting though that a defence of 'I forgot they were there after visiting Tesco to buy them and they fell down by the passenger seat' would get you arrested, or should that be could ?
I dont think I'd go to bat with that one.jeez don’t start with the bat again
 

riddick

Well-Known Member
I remember at the midlands game fair last year, I was shocked by the amount of so called zombie hunting knives & daggers that were available to buy. Yes, I get knives for stalking etc, but some of these knives were totally ridiculous, doesnt really do our sport much good to onlookers.
yes zombie knives are fine,, as long as your not going on an African safari with them. :-| then of course the vendors would probably be banned from the show.:cuckoo:
 

riddick

Well-Known Member
What is a public place?
Any highway and any premises or places to which the public, at the material time, have or are allowed to have access is considered a public place. This can also include a car, unless it happens to be parked on private property at the time.

In Scotland a car would probably not be considered a public place, as you could refuse permission for the Police to search it......if you had the balls.
but not the bat? :rofl:
 

nic531

Well-Known Member
Well that advice will quickly end up with you at a police station for a good part of your day won't it!
Thanks but no thanks nic. I will go for the telling the truth option and hopefully be on my way in 5 minutes with a hand shake. Your advice appears to have come from someone who has a very long criminal record which I can confidently say isn't any FAC holders!
unfortunately a number of people are stupid and make 'joking' comments or statements that are not great when repeated in the cold light of a court and drop themselves in it, as their comment had been an admission of an unlawful reason for carrying the knife at that time...... personally seen/heard it too often.
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
So a car is a public place. In my Truck I always have an assortment of knives, ropes, pulleys saws etc.
Now what can I be guilty of:-
Intent to stab
Intent to hang
Intent to saw a body up.

In my case I would consider the law to be an ass if I was arrested, but would the fact that I was on a road heading from one part of an estate to the other be reason enough for the law to arrest me.
I tend to also carry an opinel type knife in my pocket for general bits and pieces such as cutting string to tie game up with or snare pegs. Often I forget to take that one out of my pocket so I suppose that I could be deemed guilty.
Taking Riddick's point about the honesty and actions of the Police, not all bad but one only has to look at the Met's handling of the case against several high profile people eg Lord Britton etc to lose quite a lot of respect for them, and to treat them with extreme caution.
 

NigelM

Well-Known Member
The other week I was asked to test a custom knife by a supplier. He gave it to me at work in London and I needed to get home to Essex. That involved the underground at rush hour and the overground home. 5" fixed blade carried in central London in a very crowded public place and not a deer in sight.

I decided in the end to post it to home, just in case, but people must buy knives from shops and carry them home. I wonder what the law would say about that?
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
‘Good reason’ would apply to any situation.

In your case above I think you’re overreacting and overthinking the situation. Common sense will win out in the end.

I’m certainly not going to courier home my next bread knife from the high street!
 

riddick

Well-Known Member
The other week I was asked to test a custom knife by a supplier. He gave it to me at work in London and I needed to get home to Essex. That involved the underground at rush hour and the overground home. 5" fixed blade carried in central London in a very crowded public place and not a deer in sight.

I decided in the end to post it to home, just in case, but people must buy knives from shops and carry them home. I wonder what the law would say about that?
The same would apply to any housewife coming back from a hardware store. with a new sabatier for carving the Sunday joint.
In much the same way a visit to b&q to purchase paint stripper. to refurbish an old table back to a fine finish.
petrol in a can from the garage. for the lawnmower, god forbid you were a smoker and had a lighter too!!
all of the above including what ever mode of transport used to travel to and from could be "imagined" into a criminal act.
but as orion says above, common sense should prevail,, or they really are out to get you. :scared:
 

Hereford

Well-Known Member
So a car is a public place. In my Truck I always have an assortment of knives, ropes, pulleys saws etc.
Now what can I be guilty of:-
Intent to stab
Intent to hang
Intent to saw a body up.

In my case I would consider the law to be an ass if I was arrested, but would the fact that I was on a road heading from one part of an estate to the other be reason enough for the law to arrest me.
I tend to also carry an opinel type knife in my pocket for general bits and pieces such as cutting string to tie game up with or snare pegs. Often I forget to take that one out of my pocket so I suppose that I could be deemed guilty.
Taking Riddick's point about the honesty and actions of the Police, not all bad but one only has to look at the Met's handling of the case against several high profile people eg Lord Britton etc to lose quite a lot of respect for them, and to treat them with extreme caution.
Pretty much the same here - the Leatherman is always in the centre console besides my radio and coffee cup. I have a nice slim locking Gerber that fits in the little ‘discrete’ zip pocket of my Brasher work trousers. That’s pretty much everyday - often I will have two stroke mix or petrol in the back as well as my zippo (Heaven forbid) for a smoko every now and again.

The point is, I intend to put to work, or to hunt, or to do a bit of bushcraft with my kids - I don’t intend to stab anyone or give my knife to anyone else to do any harm, unless someone classes my youngest whittling small kindling to get the Kelly kettle going for a brew as malevolent behaviour!

I won’t be altering my routine :tiphat:
 

Fadcode

Well-Known Member
just as an addendum to this discussion, a woman was caught shop lifting in a TKMaxx store in Runcorn, after she was arrested her handbag was searched, and in it was found a pair of scissors, she was charged and convicted of having a bladed article in public.
Now this was despite the fact she had a good reason to be carrying the scissors, as she needed them to cut off the tags from the clothes she was stealing..............LOL
 

FISH BOY

Well-Known Member
With the Rebellion lot finding another home at Bishopsgate and with police everywhere, yesterday I saw a chef on his way home carrying one of those professional knife satchels.

Must admit, he had the strap across his chest with it tight under his right arm as if he knew the dangers.

I can only imagine what he had in there.
 

Brittany boy

Well-Known Member
All of my stalking kit (Except my rifle) lives in my car at all times. That includes several knives in the boot. Am I worried about getting stopped, of course not. Can I justify having them in the car, yes I can because I use them regularly and the police know it. Would I take one into a shop hanging off my belt, absolutely not.
The police could stop me whenever they like and two have even been in my car so know that it's got all of my kit in it.
Common sense will always prevail in the end. the courts aren't looking to prosecute law abiding citizens because they have plenty of oiks to deal with already. If you keep an offensive weapon in the drivers door you should not be surprised if you get into trouble. Locked away in the boot and you have nothing to worry about unless you start acting up and give them a reason to think that you're up to something illegal!
100% agree , How else would you get the knife home after you purchase it or transport it to where you need to use it. If you flash it about for everyone to see then you are going to attract the attention of the police who have better things to be dealing with.
 

Brittany boy

Well-Known Member
Where a constable in uniform has reasonable cause to suspect that an offence is being committed the constable may stop and search any person in a public place. That person can be stopped using common law powers in Scotland or statutory powers in England for offensive weapons, stolen property drugs etc. There has to be reasonable cause. A lot of people posting are forgetting that if no one is alarmed by what they see and don't feel threatened then they will not call the police and no one will require to be detained and searched. If you are sensible and discrete about carrying a knife with a legitamate purpose then no one is going to complain.

What about the scenario where you walk to your stalking ground rifle in a slip over your shoulder for everyone to see but knife in a sheath concealed along with your certificate. Yes a member of the public may call the police to report a man with a gun albeit in a bag and they will attend. If you explain what your doing where you are going your certificate matches the gun in your possession and you declare the concealed knife and its purpose then the police will have no issue with the legality of your actions and allow you on your way to go about your lawful business.

If on the other hand you become obstructive thinking you know the law better than the police officer dealing with the call then yes you may find that they take a different attitude towards you and err on the side of caution and the call takes another route where they decide to let the procurator fiscal ( in Scotland ) or the crown prosecution service in England make the decision on whether you have a legitimate reason. There is a reason behind the horror stories and the bad press the police get and yes I am a serving officer and yes I have also had my guns removed from my possession due to not having a certificate in my possession a number of years ago when I was stopped returning from a shoot , this was before it could be accessed by the officer over the radio. The guns were returned on production of the certificate an hour later at the police office.

Please just use your common sense don't flash a knife about in public, and remain calm and polite if stopped by the police , there is a reason they have stopped you, and that's because someone has made a complaint ( your fault ) how else would they know you had a knife.

John.
 

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