Posted on: Monday, 16 August 2021

If you’ve got a flick knife, shuriken star, or telescopic truncheon — or around a dozen other types of weapons —tucked away in your house, you’re now breaking the law.

On July 14th, the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 came into force, introducing sweeping new changes to what weapons you can legally keep in your home. The list of weapons now prohibited is set out in full in this graphic from the NPCC’s guidance page

Click the image to view it at full size.

Previously, the Criminal Justice Act (1988) had made it illegal to carry these weapons in public. However, the new Act extends that to private premises.

Police Chiefs comment that the measures are essential for controlling knife crime, especially amongst the young.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty welcomed the changes, saying:

These measures will help officers to take dangerous weapons off the streets, deal with those intent on using them to cause harm and suffering, and crucially, make it more difficult for young people to get hold of knives and other dangerous items in the first place.

It’s a sentiment echoed by Hampshire Constabulary’s Lead for Knife Crime, Chief Inspector John Halfacre:

The update in the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 should considerably reduce the risk to our communities from the threat, harm and risk these weapons do and can pose, especially when used in criminality.

I’m confident this will help to change the mind-set of those young people in our communities who may have otherwise thought about owning an offensive weapon.

The Act will also bring in stringent new controls for buying bladed items over the internet. As the video below shows, buying a knife will require proof that the buyer is over 18. That’s easy enough to bypass during the ordering process, but additional safeguards will be put in place at the point of delivery:

  • Packages containing bladed items have to be plainly marked as such, and cannot be delivered to a locker.
  • A package can only be handed to someone who is over 18, and the courier can ask to see photo ID to verify the recipient’s age.
  • If the courier is not satisfied, they can refuse delivery.

 

How effective these measures will be remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: a substantial number of people are now in danger of being caught out by the law.

The IBA UK blog covers a wide range of topics relating to the security industry, the law and health and safety. IBA UK Ltd run a wide range of training courses for security personnel. These include door supervision, door supervisor upskilling, physical restraint training and security guard training. To find out how we can help you, please get in touch.

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