I carry a small folding knife, am I breaking the law?
No. You can carry a knife in public if it has a folding blade that is 3 inches (7.62cm) or less in length. However if any knife is used to threaten or intimidate it is considered an offensive weapon.
Please note, lock knives are not classed as folding knives and are illegal to carry in public.
I want to dispose of my knife but am worried about the consequences. How do I do this?
From the 20 October 2016 amnesty bins will be positioned in six different police stations across the Leicester and Leicestershire area. The knife amnesty is an initiative that has been introduced by various forces across the country. The bins allow anybody to dispose of knives without the fear of being punished unless it is found to have been used for a criminal act.
Amnesty bins can be found at the following stations:
• Mansfield House • Beaumont Leys • Braunstone • Spinney Hill • Keyham Lane • Hinckley Road
I’ve heard rumours about a two strike rule. Is this true and what does it mean for me?
On 17 July 2015 Section 28 and Schedule 5 to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 came into force. This introduced a minimum custodial sentence for those aged 16 or over who are convicted of a second offence of possessing an offensive weapon or bladed article. The minimum custodial sentence is six months for those aged 18 or over.
I’ve asked somebody to carry my knife for me, am I still liable?
You don’t physically need to be in possession of an offensive weapon. You could still be guilty if you knowingly have a weapon in the possession or custody of another person, or have a weapon in any place, for the use or benefit of you or another. If you ask another person to carry, or hide a knife for you, you could be arrested and face up to four years in prison.
I've never used my knife as a weapon but I carry one for protection, can I still be punished?
Under the law, it is not self-defence to be in possession of a knife for your own, or another person’s protection. Therefore possessing or using a knife, even for self-defence, can result in up to four years in prison. Offenders caught in possession of a weapon twice face a minimum sentencing of six months.
I’m under 18. Can I still be punished under the two strike rule?
Yes. Under the two strike rule, those aged 16-17 years old will receive a minimum of four months detention and training order. Juveniles aged 12-17 years old may receive a detention and training order of up to 24 months.
I’m at school and my teacher wants to search my bag, are they allowed to do this?
A Head Teacher or other authorised member of staff of a school in England, has the right to search a pupil and their possessions if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a pupil is carrying a prohibited item.
If you are found guilty of being in possession of a knife in a public place, or on school premises, you could face up to four years in prison.