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Ban on knives, firearms and offensive weapons comes into force today

Changes to legislation, brought about by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019, mean that from today (Wednesday 14th July) all weapons banned in public by the Criminal Justice Act 1988, including zombie knives, shuriken or death stars and knuckledusters, will now also be banned in private, meaning people can no longer keep them at home.

Other sections of the act include a new definition of flick knives, banned since 1959, also take effect, resulting in more of these bladed weapons being outlawed.

Anyone unlawfully possessing a firearm covered by the ban will face up to 10 years in prison and those possessing one of the other weapons can be sentenced to up to six months imprisonment or a fine or both.

Temp Chief Inspector Dave Oldfield of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network commented:

“We are fortunate that knife crime is low in Lancashire, at around 1%. Even so, it remains a top priority and we are serious about tackling knife and violent crime together with partner agencies.

“The change in legislation is welcome and will help officers to take dangerous weapons off the streets and make it more difficult for people to obtain knives and other bladed articles in the first place.

“Turning our focus to prevention, there is a lot of multi-agency early intervention work being done across the county to support communities and young people and encourage the young into meaningful activities, education, and employment. This work is vital in steering young people away from crime.

“The arrival of the Knife Angel in Lancashire later on this year will provide a focal point for individuals, schools, communities, and professionals to come together and engage in how as individuals we can all make positive contributions to society, be good role models for others, and help to build stronger communities.

“If you have any information about knife crime in Lancashire, contact the police on 101 or make a report anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said:

“Tackling knife crime and violent crime generally is extremely important and saves lives. By making these dangerous weapons harder to obtain and easier for officers to remove from our communities, we will be able to keep more people safe.

“By cracking down on crime and bringing offenders to justice, we are sending out a clear message that if you carry a knife, officers are working around the clock to get you off the streets.

“By getting tough on serious violence we will be able to make all our communities safer – whilst we also work closely with partners, with education also being an important tool in combatting this issue and ensuring people don’t pick up knives in the first place.”

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