Knife Crime & The Law

Basic laws on knives
 
It’s illegal to: sell a knife to anyone under 18, unless it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less. carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less. … use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife)
 
Is pulling a knife on someone a crime?
 
Someone who does this by threatening the person with a deadly weapon commits aggravated assault because the fear involved is fear of more grievous injury. … For example, a pocket knife is generally not considered a lethal weapon, but if held to a victims neck, it could be deadly.
What happens if your caught with a knife?
 
If you get caught up in knife crime, you’re not just going to get a slap on the wrists. It doesn’t matter if it’s for your own protection or if you are carrying a knife for someone else. Just carrying a knife can get you sent to prison for up to four years, even if you don’t use it.
Is it illegal to walk around with a pocket knife?
 
The law directs that it is illegal to carry dangerous weapons openly or concealed with intent to commit a crime. Still, it does not generally prohibit the ownership and carrying of knives. However, a switchblade knife with a blade longer than three inches is illegal.
Why should you not carry a knife?
 
Carrying a knife or gun is illegal. Carrying a knife or gun increases your risk of being injured. It also increases the risk of the people around you being injured, and can cause great distress and upset to your family. Police are allowed to stop and search someone if they believe a weapon is being carried.
Do you go to jail if you kill in self defense?
Death by Self-Defense

Self-defense killings are not charged as crimes. If you are forced to kill another person in self-defense, you can avoid criminal charges as long as your actions were justified. … The identity and history of the aggressor can also play an important role in a self-defense killing case
How long do you go to jail for carrying a knife?
 
The maximum sentence for carrying a knife illegally is four years in prison and an unlimited fine. If you injure someone or use a knife to commit a crime, the penalties could increase.
What is classed as a zombie knife?
 
Also called “zombie killer” knives, they are ornate blades sometimes printed with skulls or toxic-warning symbols inspired by horror films. The ban specifies a zombie knife has a cutting edge, a serrated edge and “images or words that suggest it is to be used for the purpose of violence”.
What is the punishment for having a butterfly knife?
 
Using a butterfly knife for crime of any kind – as is any illegal weapon – is punishable by from 1 to 10 years imprisonment.
What is the sentence for threatening with a knife?
 
There is a mandatory minimum sentence of six months custody set by law for offenders who use any type of weapon to threaten. As the guideline gives the highest sentences to those offenders who threaten with knives or highly dangerous weapons, these offenders will always receive sentences greater than six month

It is illegal for a shop to sell any kind of knife to someone under 18. This includes kitchen knives and even cutlery.

It’s also illegal for shops to sell imitation guns or air weapons to anyone under 18-years-old, or to sell realistic imitation guns to anyone.

You’ll be committing an offence if you buy any of these items. Possessing a knife or firearm (whether it’s yours or not) is illegal and can result in a prison sentence.

Some knives are illegal for even adults to buy. The below are all categorised as offensive weapons and are completely banned:

  • Flick knives – also called ‘switchblades’ or ‘automatic knives’.
  • Butterfly knives
  • Disguised knives – in which the blade is hidden in something like a belt buckle or fake mobile phone.

You can find out more about these and other types of illegal knives on the Gov.uk website.

Things to know

Carrying a weapon in school does not mean it is just a school matter; the police will become involved and take action. For anyone carrying a knife or a gun, including those under 16, the consequences are tough.

  • It is illegal to carry a knife or a gun, or imitation firearm.
  • If you are caught with a knife or a gun, regardless of whether you say it was for your own protection or you were carrying it for someone else, you will be arrested and prosecuted.
  • Possession of a knife can carry a prison sentence of up to 4 years even if it’s not used.
  • There’s a minimum 5-year sentence for carrying a gun if you’re over 18. If you’re under 18, you could still go to prison.
  • If you stab somebody and they die, you will face a life sentence and will serve a minimum prison sentence of 25 years.
  • Causing the death of someone with a gun carries a life sentence and you will serve a mandatory 30-year prison sentence.
  • If someone is injured or killed by a knife or gun in your presence, even if you’re not the one using the weapon, you too could be prosecuted. You could be sent to prison for murder in what is referred to as ‘joint enterprise’.