It's now an offence to possess knuckledusters, throwing stars and zombie knives privately.
Devon and Cornwall Police is reminding the public of the dangers of carrying knives as new legislation comes into effect.
Changes to legislation brought about by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 mean that from Wednesday 14 July 2021 it is now an offence to possess certain items, such as knuckledusters, throwing stars and zombie knives, even in private.
Other sections of the act that have come into effect include an updated definition of flick knives to reflect changes in weapon designs, and the banning of private possession of flick knives and gravity knives.
In England and Wales a private place is defined as a place other than a public place, school premises, further education premises, or a prison where other legislation about possession of such weapons already applies.
The rest of the act will commence later in the year and will bring in new provisions for the control of goods sold online, as well as placing responsibility onto delivery companies to conduct age verification at delivery stage. It is hoped these changes will help to address the growing issue of online sale of knives.
Devon and Cornwall has the fourth lowest knife crime rate (32 per 100,000 population) of all 43 police forces and the force hopes to maintain this record. (Source: Office of National Statistics – Dec 2020). This type of offence remains low across the region.
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and an unlimited fine. You’ll get a prison sentence if you’re convicted of carrying a knife more than once.
Detective Chief Inspector, Alexandra Doughty, the Force’s lead for knife crime, said: “We are really pleased to be able to share the news of the new legislation to tackle knife crime. Our aim is to maintain our position as the safest place in the country by proactively using preventative methods provided in the legislation. Any knife crime is not acceptable in our communities and we will strive to educate, prevent and prosecute.”
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “While Devon and Cornwall’s knife crime rates are low, there has been a small increase in knife possession in the region recently which is concerning.
“Any incident involving a knife has the potential to be catastrophic.
“There is no excuse for possessing any of the weapons mentioned in this new legislation, such as knuckle dusters and zombie knives. These are vile implements which often advertise themselves as display pieces, but in reality, could be used to do a great deal of harm and potentially end someone’s life.
“I am glad the Government is taking this matter seriously and has made the law tougher. Knife crime will not be tolerated in Devon and Cornwall.”
If you believe someone is in immediate possession of a knife or offensive weapon, please dial 999. If you would like to report your concerns about a knife carrier or need some advice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dc.police.uk and report it online.
Unwanted knives can be disposed of at local recycling centres or safely packaged in your household waste.
For more information visit: www.dc.police.uk/knives
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