Cutlery knives are now considered bladed articles, warns Bira

From 6 April, the statutory guidance on the sale of bladed items will clearly state that cutlery knives are now considered bladed articles. This gives clarity for retailers to ensure they are also treated as age-restricted items and fall within the meanings as set out under section 141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

Police and Trading standards are likely to step up their shop visits to ensure retailers are complying with the regulations.

 

As stated in section 141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 sale of the following bladed articles to under 18s is prohibited;

any knife, knife blade or razor blade (other than a razor blade permanently enclosed in a cartridge or housing where less than 2mm is exposed);
any axe; and
any other article which has a blade or which is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person.

 

Previously the industry thought cutlery knifes were not included but they will now clearly say they fall within the guidelines. This will now mean shops selling cutlery knives loosely will need to ask for age verification.

The 1988 Act does not provide legal definitions of these items so the words carry their normal meanings so any item that could commonly be described as a knife would be considered as such for the purposes of the legislation.

 

As of 6 April, new measures came into force:

Part 1: Corrosive products and substances

Section 1: sale of corrosive products to persons under 18s
Section 2: defence to remote sale of corrosive products to persons under 18
Section 3: delivery of corrosive products to residential premises etc
Section 4: Delivery of corrosive products to persons under 18
Section 6: Offensive of having a corrosive substance in a public place
Section 8: Appropriate custodial sentence for conviction under section 6 – this has now been superseded by the Sentencing Act 2020
Section 9: Offence under section 6: relevant convictions – this has now been repealed by the Sentencing Act 2020
Section 10: Search for corrosive substances

Part 3: Sale and delivery of knives etc

Section 34: Sale etc of bladed articles to persons under 18
Section 35: Defence of sale of bladed articles to persons under 18
Section 38: Delivery of bladed products to residential premises etc
Section 39: Delivery of bladed products to persons under 18
Section 40: Defences to offence under section 38 and 39
Section 41: Meaning of “bladed product” in sections 38 to 40
Section 42: Delivery of bladed articles to persons under 18

Part 4: Possession etc of certain offensive weapons

Section 45: Prohibition on the possession of offensive weapons in further education premises

 

Part 5: Threatening with offensive weapons

Section 50: Offence of threatening with offensive weapon etc in a public place etc
Section 51: Offence of threatening with offensive weapon etc on further education premises
Section 52: Offence of threatening with an offensive weapon etc in a private place
Section 54: Search for corrosive substance on school or further education premises

 

Part 6: Firearms

(Brings the Sentencing Act 2020 measure relating to mandatory minimum sentences into effect)

Section 54(6): mandatory minimum sentencing for offences relating to rapid firing rifles and bump stocks

 

Part 7: Enforcement

Section 64: Enforcement of offences relating to sale etc of offensive weapons
Section 65: Application of Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008
Part 8: Supplementary

Section 66: Guidance on offences relating to offensive weapons etc
Section 67: Consequential amendments relating to armed forces

 

Schedules

Schedule 1: Corrosive products

 

The regulations can be viewed at: The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 (Commencement No. 2 and Saving Provision) Regulations 2022 (legislation.gov.uk) and The Sentencing Act 2020 (Commencement No. 1) (England and Wales) Regulations 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)

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