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Weapons and Knives

Knives and guns are offensive weapons and it is illegal to carry them, sell, hire or make them available to another person. An offensive weapon is considered to be any item which has been made or adapted to cause injury.

Any item becomes an offensive weapon if it is being carried with the intention of using it to cause injury or harm to another person.

For a list of offensive weapons download the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons Order) document. Please note this list is not exhaustive.

Knives

It is illegal to:

  • sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old
  • carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less
  • carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
  • use any knife in a threatening way
  • carry a lock knife (the blade can be locked when unfolded)

For more information on knives, please visit gov.uk.

Report it

If there is an ongoing incident involving an offensive weapon and there is an immediate danger, you should always call 999 straight away.

To report a person you know to frequently carry an offensive weapon fill in the Give us Information about suspected crime form. To report it anonymously visit the crimestoppers website, call 101 or visit a police station in person.

To check if a knife is illegal and to find out how to safely dispose of a knife fill in the General contact and enquiry form or call 101 for further advice.

Related documents

  • PDF icon Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons Order)
    Last updated: 23 December 2016