Knife crime - it's not tough, it's dumb

By carrying a knife, you put yourself and others at riskBy carrying a knife, you put yourself and others at risk

Knife crime remains low but the message is still the same, ‘Don’t carry knives’.

The police take knife crime very seriously and is working hard to change people’s attitudes towards carrying knives. Just by carrying a knife people are putting themselves and others at risk.

Is it illegal to carry a knife?

Across the UK it is illegal to carry any sharp or bladed instrument in a public place (except for a folding pocket - knife that has a blade that is less than 7.62 cm or 3 inches).

A lock knife is NOT a folding pocket - knife and therefore it is illegal to carry these knives regardless of the length of the blade.

It is an offence to carry a knife on your person in a public place without a reasonable excuse.

If you carry a knife in your vehicle you could also be prosecuted for the offence.

What are the penalties for being caught with an illegal knife?

The police will arrest you and the penalty for committing this offence is a minimum of a six-month prison sentence, or maximum of two years in prison and/or a fine.

What if I need a knife for work?

You could be at risk of committing an offence if you carry knives you use for work when you are not working.

Our advice is to leave your work knives at home or at the workplace.

Could I be searched?

Yes you could, Police are actively trying to reduce knife-related crime so there may be a greater chance of you being searched.

The police can stop and search any person, vehicle, and anything in or on the vehicle for certain items.

However, before they stop and search they must have reasonable grounds for suspecting that they will find:

  • Stolen goods
  • An offensive weapon or an item with a blade or point
  • Any article made or adapted for use in certain offences, for example a burglary or theft
  • Items that could damage or destroy property; e.g. spray paint cans.

The police officer carrying out the search must provide their identity and station as well as explaining to you the grounds of the search before it starts.

In all cases a record of the search will be made in which you are entitled to a copy of.

What should I do if I know someone is carrying a knife or selling knives illegally?

  • If you suspect of anyone of carrying a knife or an offensive weapon you should tell someone, preferably a Police Officer or Police Community Support Officer
  • If you are still at school, tell a member of school staff or a parent
  • If you want to remain anonymous ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.