Knife Law – The fundamentals

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We as bushcrafters do like a good new “shiny”, and in a equivalent way to our colonial cousins with there attractions to firearms, we want to be in a position to carry it all the time. Nonetheless, and this is a major 1, the possibilities are you are breaking the law in performing so.

A lot of men and women will say that they can carry a knife below three inch in length, a lock knife, or a saw or fixed bladed knife.

If you appear at the section in law which knives fall below, it spells it out in clear terms, and I’m not speaking about the plethora of opinions from the bloke down the pub, I am referring to the law.

The law contained in Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, gives the offence of possession of a bladed or pointed report in a public spot. To recognize the law, you want to be in a position to recognize how it has been written, and which each and every aspect signifies.

Let’s start off with “Possession”, this is rather straightforward, so if it upon your particular person, a bag you are carrying, or automobile you are travelling in, you are in possession of it. If it is locked in a box in the boot of your car or truck, you are nevertheless in possession of it.

spoon carved with knife

Now let’s appear at the “Public Place”.
This is not rather as straight forward as you would assume, the definition for Section 139 is as follows “public spot involves any spot to which at the material time the public have or are permitted access, irrespective of whether on payment or otherwise”.

Your neighborhood park would fall below this, as would Tesco’s when it is open on the other hand, land which is usually private such as the place of the Bushmoot’s, would fall into the category of getting a public spot when there is an occasion taking spot.

The purpose for this comes below the aspect which states “permitted access”, as you are only permitted to enter the internet site if you have paid to come along, or if it was no cost to enter you are once again only permitted to be there as you are attending the occasion.
Glastonbury festival is held on private farmland, on the other hand men and women acquire a ticket and are permitted access, this then tends to make it a public spot.

We have now established if you are in ‘possession’ and in a public spot, what does it imply by a bladed or pointed report. This is the straightforward bit, does it have a sharp blade, or a point, if the answer is yes, then you guessed it, it is a knife.

Now there is an exception to this rule, in which the law recognises that a folding pocket knife does not fall into the offence, but other knives do.

So that is the offence bit covered, now the query is, what knives come below this section of law? To place it bluntly (no pun intended) almost everything except a folding pocket knife.

A folding pocket knife is a knife which folds out and back in once again with no locking mechanism, and a holding spring to hold it in a closed position, it have to also have a blade length not exceeding 7.62cm (3inch). The easiest instance of this would be a classic Swiss Army knife.

opened Swiss Army Knife

The law was written for all other knives, such as lock knives, or ones with a fixed blade.
Most if not all bushcrafty men and women use 1 of these knives, and we all want to know that the law impacts us.

To give an instance of this variety of knife, you could appear at a straightforward Opinel No.eight knife. This knife folds open, and then with a twist of the metal ring, it is locked in the open position. By definition, this is a lock knife, and as a result it is an offence to have it in a public spot. This offence would also apply if you have your fixed bladed knife on your belt.

Opinel knife cutting sausage

Ideal so now that we are in public with a knife which falls below the definition of the offence, are we going to be taken to court and dealt with?

Properly, this subsequent bit falls to the particular person, when you are in the woods actively involved in some nicely-earned Bushcraft time, you have a very good purpose to have your fixed or locking bladed knife with you. Nonetheless, when the inevitable time comes that you have run out of bacon, it is time for a trip to the shops. You either leave the sharps in camp, or if this is not an solution you place them in the car or truck or your bag.

This is exactly where all the confusion commonly comes for men and women, so to clear this up. The offence is total if the knife is “in your possession”. So if the police cease you and they find the knife you may perhaps come across your self in court, and you may perhaps have a completely very good purpose to have the knife upon you, on the other hand proving this falls to you.
The offence has been committed, and all that the courts want to prove is the charge.

The complete wording for this is as follows…
“On (precise date) at (township) had with you, devoid of very good purpose or lawful authority, in a public spot (precise place): (A) an report which had a blade or was sharply pointed, namely (precise report)”: (B) a folding pocket knife which had a blade the cutting edge of which exceeded 7.62cm.”

The bit which is left to the accused to prove is the “without very good purpose or lawful authority”, so if you are engaged in some bushcraft activity, you could say that you have a very good purpose. Purchasing bacon at the shops is not a very good purpose. The lawful authority could nicely be the postman bringing you a new shinny, due to this the only true solution for us would be the very good purpose bit.

So to sum up, if you have something other than a Swiss Army variety knife (non-locking, sub 3″ blade), you want to a have a very good purpose to have it with you.

Showing police with cuffs

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