We are NOT Solicitors or Law Makers, so please follow the links at the bottom for more official information, or speak to a solicitor for legal advice. This information should not be relied upon in a court of law and you should always consult a Solicitor on legal matters, they are the experts in the Law and will be able to give you the best all round advice. Remember even if you believe yourself to be completely innocent of any crime you should, in all cases, consult a Solicitor.
"We have some pretty sensible knife laws in the UK that allow you to use a knife for it’s intended purpose – REMEMBER it is a tool for doing a job and it has, and always will be an offense to use it as a weapon.
The law is quite clear but can be a little vague in places, whether this is intentional I am un-sure but it is likely that it is to allow a sensible Policeman to use his discretion as there are no “Black and White” cases when it comes to the law.
The Criminal Justice Act (1988) says that you may carry a knife with a blade length of 3.0" or less so long as it is capable of folding and does not lock - so no fixed blade knives as an EDC!! This is for your “Every Day Carry” (commonly referred to as an EDC) or Pocket/Pen knife.
Remember, be sensible - There are exceptions to the EDC laws and you should fully research what they are but a knife has no place at a football match, in a pub, nightclub or school. This is not an exhaustive list and there are other areas of our lives that you shouldn't carry.
If you wish or need to carry a larger knife then you really need to have “Reasonable Cause”. That means that you must be able to prove that you had a genuine reason for carrying the knife. A “Reasonable Cause” can constitute a whole host of scenarios such as:
- You may carry a larger bladed tool if it is associated with your work, for example, a Butcher or Chef may carry his knives to work. A builder or electrician has great need of a Stanley type knife for daily use.
- If it is associated with your sport, for example a fisherman may carry a larger knife for fileting, cutting line etc., a hunter may carry a fixed blade hunting knife of almost any size, if you are camping you may need a larger tool for any manner of tasks
These should all constitute a “Reasonable Cause” and you should not have any issues or dilemmas with the law - BUT don't forget it is there! If you stop off anywhere on your way home take the knife off of your belt and put it in the boot of your car. If on foot, be sensible, take it off your belt and put it at the bottom of your rucksack. These actions will demonstrate that you have made the tool as inaccessible as possible and not available in “The Heat of the Moment”. Ignorance is not a defense in law and you cannot simply say "I forgot".
REMEMBER – Do not give the Police a hard time, just follow instructions and if you feel you are correct in your actions seek advice from a Solicitor after the fact to argue your case. DO NOT stand there and argue with the Police as you will not win or convince them they are wrong!!!
For more comprehensive information follow the links below to:
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 1988 - Section XI "Miscelleaneous" - Subsection 139 - 142 - "Articles with Blades or Points and Offensive Weapons
THE OFFENSIVE WEAPONS ACT 1996
THE KNIVES ACT1997