Fringe Box



Letter: We Should Not Criticise the Police Knife Amnesty Unfairly

Published on: 25 Jan, 2017
Updated on: 25 Jan, 2017

The Surrey Police “knife bin” – Photo Surrey Police

From Dave Middleton

I would advise those commenting on the police’s knife amnesty to not criticise this initiative unfairly.

I have had personal experience of previous knife amnesties of this type and therefore, I am able to comment from actual knowledge, not as an armchair expert.

At the end of previous amnesties, when the bins were emptied out, there was a fair selection of hardware in them, ranging from small kitchen knives right up to some fearsome looking antique combat knives, bayonets, spikes and even quite large swords.

While it is relatively rare for the type of person who actively and unlawfully carries a knife as a weapon for so called self defence, or criminal purposes, to surrender their knives, many of the knives surrendered were given over by decent, law abiding citizens, who were looking for a safe way to dispose of the knives, in the knowledge that they would not fall into the wrong hands.

Every knife that is so disposed of, is a knife that will not subsequently end up on the street, perhaps after being stolen as a result of a burglary and perhaps then be used to injure or kill someone.

As for transporting the knives to the police station, the Law allows for the carriage of a knife for a lawful purpose (perhaps used in connection with a trade as a tool, or in connection with an outdoor pursuit) or, if there is a reasonable excuse for such carriage. Taking the knife to the police station for destruction would be such a reasonable excuse.

I would recommend, and common sense says, that any knife, or bladed, or pointed object, being taken to the police station, should be carried safely and securely covered in a suitable bag or box, so as not to injure the carrier and not in such a way as to alarm any members of the public.

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