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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Report the use of 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 (PDF). This list is not exhaustive.

Immediate danger

If there is an ongoing incident involving an offensive weapon you should call 999 straight away.


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 is 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, visit GOV.UK.

Surrendering knives

If you have unwanted knives that you would like to dispose of safely, you can take them to the front office of any police station.

Alternatively, we have a number of surrender bins which are permanently located outside the front of the building at the following sites:

  • Patchway Police Centre
  • Bridgwater Police Centre
  • Keynsham Police Centre
  • The Bridewell Police Station, Bristol

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

How do I report it?

To report a person you know to frequently carry an offensive weapon, complete the give us information about suspected crime form.

You can report it anonymously:

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