Don’t fall foul of the law

As stalkers and hunters the use of knives becomes second nature to us and as a result we often find that we become blase’ about carrying them, this can lead to misunderstandings and even your arrest so be careful.

As stalkers and hunters the use of knives becomes second nature to us and as a result we often find that we become blase' about carrying them, this can lead to misunderstandings and even your arrest so be careful.

Remember that whilst in our minds we may have a very reasonable explanation for having a knife on us this may not be seen quite so readily by the police.

Therefore as a hunter it is well worth having a basic understanding of the law in relation to knives. As a former 'plod' myself I have arrested my fair share of people carrying offensive weapons and so here is your crash course on staying on the right side of the law!

The prevention of Crime Act 1953 & the Criminal Justice Act 1988 basically breaks the carrying of weapons down into two categories, 'Offensive Weapons' (Sect 1, 1953) and 'Bladed or Pointed Articles' (Sect 139 1988). Both are with reference to a person being in a public place.

I've not the space here to break down the intricacy of the Acts so the following are designed as a few basic pointers to make sure you don't get your collar felt!

If you are going to have a knife with you then you must have a reasonable excuse for doing so, this can include the fact that you need it for your trade i.e. that you are going stalking and need it to 'gralloch' a beast.

This does not include going stalking the next week or even the next day but at the time of having the knife on you. Don't carry it unless you can prove that you need to have it with you there and then.

Insure your knife is appropriate for what you need it, don't take a 'flick knife', bayonet, or sword! Because in the eye's of the law these weapons are made specifically for causing injury and if you carry one these then the offence is complete irrespective of how you intend to use it.

Be clear about what you do with it, don't stick it in a pocket or the glove box of your car and forget you have it on you! Forgetting that you have the knife is NOT a defence or reasonable excuse. So remember to take it out of the car and or your pocket at the end of your outing.

Remember that any bladed or pointed article can be deemed an Offensive Weapon if you intend it to be. If you have one of these articles on you then expect to be asked why and be prepared to give a good explanation for why you have it? If you can't answer an officer's reasonable questions then you may find that you are being asked more detailed questions at the station on tape!

Finally be clear and specific about why and what you have on you and remember that for many people and especially Police Officers knives can be a source of considerable concern.

Rigby

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