Northamptonshire Police is reminding the public that it’s now an offence to possess dangerous items such as throwing stars, zombie knives and decorative swords.
Changes to the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 which were brought in on July 14 this year have extended the banning of all weapons in public to now include private settings, which means people can no longer keep them at home.
While other sections of the Offensive Weapons Act introduced included an updated definition of flick knives to reflect changes in weapon designs, and the banning of private possession of both flick and gravity knives.
The reminder has been issued as part of the Force’s knife crime campaign which aims to prevent and tackle this type of offending by raising awareness of common misconceptions around carrying knives.
Since the introduction of the new legislation, 18 people have been arrested for the possession of an offensive weapon after searches of private addresses as part of the investigation for unrelated matters.
Seven of the arrests were in Northampton, and there were two in Wellingborough, Corby, Kettering, East Northamptonshire, South Northamptonshire and one in the Daventry area. Among the items seized were zombie and lock knives, telescopic truncheons, and knuckle dusters.
Superintendent Adam Ward, who is leading the Force’s campaign, said: “The harm caused to families and communities through the tragic loss of life relating to knife crime is devastating which is why it is a matter of priority to us.
“These new measures will go some way in helping to take weapons off our streets and to make it more difficult for people to get hold of knives and other dangerous items in the first place.
“However, although the majority don’t carry knives in public, it is really important they are aware of these changes to the Offensive Weapons Act to ensure that they are not unintentionally committing an offence.
“We are committed to both preventing people carrying knives in the first place as well as taking robust action against offenders, and some of the items mentioned in the legislation are advertised as decorative pieces when in reality they could be used to do a great deal of harm.”
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.
Our neighbourhood policing teams are holding amnesty events across the county, where you can hand in a knife or other weapons safely and without repercussions. For more details check out their social media pages.