A Streetwise guide to Offensive Weapons
ARTICLES
A Streetwise guide to Offensive Weapons
The following is basically a FAQ created by the New Scottland Yard in 1996 that explains in plain english (no pun intended) what the law is about
carrying weapons in the UK, and what could happen to you if you're caught with something considered an "Offensive Weapon" .

Topics:
What is an offensive weapon?
What happens if you are caught with an offensive weapon?
How can I stay safe?

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What is an offensive weapon?
An offensive weapon means any article made or adapted for causing injury, or intended to cause injury.

It's the Law!

The Prevention of Crime Act 1953 (Section 1(1)) states that:

'Any person who without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, the proof whereof shall lie with him/her, has with him/her in a public place any
offensive weapon, shall be guilty of an offence.'


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Did You Know?

That an offensive weapon is any bladed or sharply pointed instrument*,

Did You Know?

That things classified as offensive weapons can be carried in certain circumstances:

at work
for religious reasons
weapons worn as part of national costume


Did You Know?

That canisters of CS gas sold as self-defence to women are illegal in this country**,

That antique weapons become offensive weapons if carried in a public place with the intention to cause injury, That a flick knife is an offensive
weapon - no question, * Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (section 139)

** Under the Firearms Act 1968

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It's not worth it!
Question: " What happens if you are caught with an offensive weapon?"

Answer: "It depends on the weapon and the circumstances."

Did You Know?

That if you're caught carrying a weapon in a public place it's up to you to show that it wasn't made or adapted to cause injury.

That if you carry an offensive weapon for someone else, you're still breaking the law?

If you are found guilty of carrying an offensive weapon you are liable to:

imprisonment, a fine or both.

If you are found guilty of carrying a sharp instrument or blade you are liable to:

a fine of up of 1000

If you are found guilty of making, selling, hiring, lending or giving a sharp instrument or blade you are liable to:

imprisonment, a fine of up to 5000, or both

If you are found guilty of unlawful wounding (causing bodily harm with or without a weapon) you are liable to:


up to 5 years imprisonment


If you are found guilty of grievous bodily harm (a serious injury) you are liable to:

life imprisonment


If you are found guilty of manslaughter, attempted murder or murder you are liable to:

life imprisonment


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What Can You Do?

Knives and other offensive weapons are a real problem. A lot of people get hurt unnecessarily. What can you do to avoid trouble?

Traveling on public transport

On buses - sit downstairs.

On trains - avoid empty carriages.

When walking

Avoid dark passages or alleys.

Keep to well lit and busy streets and walk boldly.

Avoid trouble

If you see a gang or someone who may be looking for trouble, cross the street to avoid them.

Don't get wound up by insults, don't react or over react.

Don't annoy people who have been drinking.

Don't look someone in the eye - it may look like a challenge.

If you are being followed

Knock at the nearest door and ask the people there to call the police.

If you are attacked

Shout as loudly as you can. Get away rather than get even.

Hand over money or valuables - they can be replaced but scars last a lifetime.

One last word

Why not carry an alarm?

Why not learn self-defence? It will give you more confidence.