Offensive Weapons Bill (HC Bill 265)

Offensive Weapons BillPage 10

(b) a conviction in Scotland, Northern Ireland or a member State other than
the United Kingdom for a civilian offence which would have
constituted a relevant offence if committed in England and Wales at the
time of that conviction,

(c) 5a conviction for an offence under section 42 of the Armed Forces Act
2006 in respect of which the corresponding offence under the law of
England and Wales (within the meaning of that section) is a relevant
offence,

(d) a conviction for an offence under section 70 of the Army Act 1955,
10section 70 of the Air Force Act 1955 or section 42 of the Naval Discipline
Act 1957 in respect of which the corresponding civilian offence (within
the meaning of the Act in question) is a relevant offence, or

(e) a conviction for a member State service offence which would have
constituted a relevant offence if committed in England and Wales at the
15time of conviction.

(2) References in subsection (1) to a conviction for an offence are to a conviction for
an offence regardless of when it was committed.

(3) In this section—

  • “civilian offence” means an offence other than—

    (a)

    20an offence under an enactment mentioned in subsection (1)(c)
    or (d), or

    (b)

    a member State service offence;

  • “conviction” includes—

    (a)

    in relation to an offence under section 42 of the Armed Forces
    25Act 2006, anything which by virtue of section 376(1) and (2) of
    that Act is to be treated as a conviction, and

    (b)

    in relation to an offence under section 42 of the Naval Discipline
    Act 1957 and a member State service offence, a finding of guilt
    in respect of the person;

  • 30“member State service offence” means an offence which was the subject of
    proceedings under the law of a member State, other than the United
    Kingdom, governing all or any of the naval, military or air forces of that
    State.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1)(c) and (d), where the offence was committed
35by aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring, it must be assumed that the act
aided, abetted, counselled or procured was done in England and Wales.

10 Search for corrosive substances: England and Wales

(1) Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (power of constable to
stop and search persons, vehicles etc) is amended as follows.

(2) 40In subsection (2), after “any article to which subsection (8A) below applies”
insert “, any substance to which subsection (8AA) below applies”.

(3) In subsection (3), after “any article to which subsection (8A) below applies”
insert “, any substance to which subsection (8AA) below applies”.

(4) In subsection (6), after “an article to which subsection (8A) below applies”
45insert “, a substance to which subsection (8AA) below applies”.

Offensive Weapons BillPage 11

(5) After subsection (8A) insert—

(8AA) This subsection applies to any substance in relation to which a person
has committed, or is committing or is going to commit an offence under
section 6 of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018 (offence of having a
5corrosive substance in a public place).

(8AB) In this section references to such a substance include an article which
contains such a substance.”

11 Search for corrosive substances: Scotland

(1) This section applies if a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a
10person—

(a) is carrying a corrosive substance, and

(b) has committed or is committing an offence under section 6.

(2) The constable may search the person without warrant, and detain the person
for such time as is reasonably required to permit the search to be carried out.

(3) 15If in the course of the search the constable finds a substance which the
constable reasonably suspects to be a corrosive substance, the constable may
seize and retain the substance and any article in which it is contained.

(4) If a constable detains a person under this section the constable must inform the
person of the reason for doing so.

(5) 20A person commits an offence if the person—

(a) intentionally obstructs a constable in the exercise of the constable’s
powers under this section, or

(b) conceals a corrosive substance from a constable acting in the exercise of
those powers.

(6) 25A person guilty of an offence under subsection (5) is liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale.

(7) In this section “corrosive substance” has the same meaning as in section 6.

12 Search for corrosive substances: Northern Ireland

(1) Article 3 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (SI
301989/1341 (NI 12)) (power of constable to stop and search persons, vehicles etc)
is amended in accordance with subsections (2) to (5).

(2) In paragraph (2)(a), after “any article to which paragraph (9) applies” insert “,
any substance to which paragraph (9ZA) applies”.

(3) In paragraph (3), after “any article to which paragraph (9) applies” insert “, any
35substance to which paragraph (9ZA) applies”.

(4) In paragraph (6), after “an article to which paragraph (9) applies” insert “, a
substance to which paragraph (9ZA) applies”.

(5) After paragraph (9) insert—

(9ZA) This paragraph applies to any substance in relation to which a person
40has committed, or is committing or is going to commit an offence under

Offensive Weapons BillPage 12

section 6 of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018 (offence of having a
corrosive substance in a public place).

(9ZB) In this Article references to such a substance include an article which
contains such a substance.”

(6) 5In Schedule 2A to the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2003 (powers and duties of
community support officer), after paragraph 17 insert—

“Powers in relation to corrosive substances

17A A CSO shall have the powers of a constable under Article 3 of the
1989 Order in relation to any substance to which paragraph (9ZA) of
10that Article applies.”

13 Consequential amendments relating to corrosive substances

(1) In section 1ZA(1)(a) of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 (offence under section
1: previous relevant convictions)—

(a) omit the “or” at the end of sub-paragraph (i), and

(b) 15at the end of sub-paragraph (ii) insert or

(iii) section 6 of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018,”.

(2) In section 37(1A) of the Mental Health Act 1983 (powers of courts to order
hospital admission or guardianship: effect of provisions requiring imposition
of appropriate custodial sentence)—

(a) 20omit the “or” at the end of paragraph (c), and

(b) at the end of paragraph (d) insert , or

(e) under section 8(2) of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018
(minimum sentences in certain cases of possession of a
corrosive substance),”.

(3) 25In section 36(2)(b) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (review of sentencing in case
of failure to impose appropriate custodial sentence)—

(a) omit the “or” at the end of sub-paragraph (iii), and

(b) at the end of sub-paragraph (iv) insert ; or

(v) section 8(2) of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018.”

(4) 30In section 139AZA(1)(a) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (offences under
sections 139 and 139A: previous relevant convictions)—

(a) omit the “or” at the end of sub-paragraph (i), and

(b) at the end of sub-paragraph (ii) insert or

(iii) section 6 of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018,”.

(5) 35In section 12(1A) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000
(provisions preventing the making of an order for absolute or conditional
discharge), after paragraph (f) insert—

(g) section 8(2) of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018.”

(6) In section 144 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (reduction in sentences for guilty
40pleas)—

(a) in subsection (3), at the end insert—

  • “section 8(2) of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018.”, and

(b) in subsection (5), at the end insert—

    Offensive Weapons BillPage 13

  • “section 8(2) of the Offensive Weapons Act 2018.”

Sale and delivery of knives etc

14 Defence to sale of bladed articles to persons under 18: England and Wales

(1) The Criminal Justice Act 1988 is amended as follows.

(2) 5In section 141A (sale of bladed articles to persons under 18) as that section has
effect in England and Wales, in subsection (4), for “It” substitute “Subject to
section 141B, it”.

(3) After section 141A insert—

141B   Limitations on defence to offence under section 141A: England and
10Wales

(1) This section applies if—

(a) a person (“the seller”) is charged with an offence under section
141A (sale of bladed articles to persons under 18), and

(b) the seller was not in the presence of the person (“the buyer”) to
15whom the article to which the charge relates was sold at the
time of the sale.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) the seller was not in the presence
of the buyer at the time of the sale if—

(a) where the seller is an individual, the seller or a person acting on
20the seller’s behalf was not in the presence of the buyer at that
time;

(b) where the seller is not an individual, a person acting on the
seller’s behalf was not in the presence of the buyer at that time.

(3) The seller is not to be regarded as having proved that they took all
25reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the
commission of the offence unless, as a minimum, they prove that the
following conditions are met.

(4) Condition A is that, at the time the offence is alleged to have been
committed—

(a) 30the seller operated a system for checking that persons who
bought articles to which section 141A applied by the same or a
similar method of purchase to that used by the buyer were not
under the age of 18, and

(b) that system was likely to prevent persons under the age of 18
35from buying such articles by that method.

(5) Condition B is that when the package containing the article was
dispatched by the seller, it was clearly marked to indicate—

(a) that it contained an article with a blade or which was sharply
pointed (as the case may be), and

(b) 40that, when finally delivered, it should only be delivered into the
hands of a person aged 18 or over.

(6) Condition C is that the seller took all reasonable precautions and
exercised all due diligence to ensure that, when finally delivered, the
package would be delivered into the hands of a person aged 18 or over.

Offensive Weapons BillPage 14

(7) Condition D is that the seller did not deliver the package, or arrange for
its delivery, to a locker.

(8) Where the article to which section 141A applied was dispatched by the
seller to a place from which it was to be collected by the buyer or a
5person acting on behalf of the buyer, references in subsections (5) and
(6) to the final delivery of the article are to be read as its supply to the
buyer or a person acting on behalf of the buyer from that place.

(9) In subsection (7) “locker” means a lockable container to which the
package was delivered with a view to its collection by the buyer, or a
10person acting on behalf of the buyer, in accordance with arrangements
made between the seller and the buyer.”

15 Defence to sale etc of bladed articles to persons under 18: Scotland

(1) The Criminal Justice Act 1988 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 141A (sale or letting on hire of bladed articles to persons under 18)
15as that section has effect in Scotland, in each of subsections (3A) and (4), for “It”
substitute “Except where section 141C applies, it”.

(3) After section 141B (inserted by section 14(3)) insert—

141C   Defence to offence under section 141A where remote sale or letting
on hire: Scotland

(1) 20This section applies if—

(a) a person (“the accused”) is charged with an offence under
section 141A (sale or letting on hire of bladed articles to persons
under 18), and

(b) the accused was not in the presence of the person (“the
25recipient”) to whom the article to which the charge relates was
sold or let on hire at the time of the sale or letting on hire.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) the accused was not in the
presence of the recipient at the time of the sale or letting on hire if—

(a) where the accused is an individual, the accused or a person
30acting on the accused’s behalf was not in the presence of the
recipient at that time;

(b) where the accused is not an individual, a person acting on the
accused’s behalf was not in the presence of the recipient at that
time.

(3) 35It is a defence for the accused to show that the conditions in subsections
(5) to (8) are met.

(4) The accused is to be taken to have shown a matter mentioned in
subsections (5) to (8) if—

(a) sufficient evidence of the matter is adduced to raise an issue
40with respect to it, and

(b) the contrary is not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

(5) Condition A is that, at the time the offence is alleged to have been
committed—

(a) the accused operated a system for checking that persons who
45bought or hired articles to which section 141A applied by the

Offensive Weapons BillPage 15

same or a similar method of purchase or hire to that used by the
recipient were not under the age of 18, and

(b) that system was likely to prevent persons under the age of 18
from buying or hiring such articles by that method.

(6) 5Condition B is that when the package containing the article was
dispatched by the accused, it was clearly marked to indicate—

(a) that it contained an article with a blade or which was sharply
pointed (as the case may be), and

(b) that, when finally delivered, it should only be delivered into the
10hands of a person aged 18 or over.

(7) Condition C is that the accused took all reasonable precautions and
exercised all due diligence to ensure that, when finally delivered, the
package would be delivered into the hands of a person aged 18 or over.

(8) Condition D is that the accused did not deliver the package, or arrange
15for its delivery, to a locker.

(9) Where the article to which section 141A applied was dispatched by the
accused to a place from which it was to be collected by the recipient or
a person acting on behalf of the recipient, references in subsections (6)
and (7) to the final delivery of the article are to be read as its supply to
20the recipient, or a person acting on behalf of the recipient, from that
place.

(10) In subsection (8) “locker” means a lockable container to which the
package was delivered with a view to its collection by the recipient, or
a person acting on behalf of the recipient, in accordance with
25arrangements made between the accused and the recipient.”

(4) In section 172(4) (provisions which extend only to Scotland) after the entry for
section 141ZA insert—

  • “section 141C;”.

16 Defence to sale of bladed articles to persons under 18: Northern Ireland

(1) 30The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (SI 1996/3160 (NI 24)SI 1996/3160 (NI 24)) is
amended as follows.

(2) In Article 54 (sale of bladed articles to persons under 18), in paragraph (4), for
“It” substitute “Subject to Article 54A, it”.

(3) After that Article insert—

54A 35Limitations on defence to offence under Article 54

(1) This Article applies if—

(a) a person (“the seller”) is charged with an offence under Article
54 (sale of bladed articles to persons under 18), and

(b) the seller was not in the presence of the person (“the buyer”) to
40whom the article to which the charge relates was sold at the
time of the sale.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b) the seller was not in the presence
of the buyer at the time of the sale if—

Offensive Weapons BillPage 16

(a) where the seller is an individual, the seller or a person acting on
the seller’s behalf was not in the presence of the buyer at that
time;

(b) where the seller is not an individual, a person acting on the
5seller’s behalf was not in the presence of the buyer at that time.

(3) The seller is not to be regarded as having proved that they took all
reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the
commission of the offence unless, as a minimum, they prove that the
following conditions are met.

(4) 10Condition A is that, at the time the offence is alleged to have been
committed—

(a) the seller operated a system for checking that persons who
bought articles to which Article 54 applied by the same or a
similar method of purchase to that used by the buyer were not
15under the age of 18, and

(b) that system was likely to prevent persons under the age of 18
from buying such articles by that method.

(5) Condition B is that when the package containing the article was
dispatched by the seller, it was clearly marked to indicate—

(a) 20that it contained an article with a blade or which was sharply
pointed (as the case may be), and

(b) that, when finally delivered, it should only be delivered into the
hands of a person aged 18 or over.

(6) Condition C is that the seller took all reasonable precautions and
25exercised all due diligence to ensure that, when finally delivered, the
package would be delivered into the hands of a person aged 18 or over.

(7) Condition D is that the seller did not deliver the package, or arrange for
its delivery, to a locker.

(8) Where the article to which Article 54 applied was dispatched by the
30seller to a place from which it was to be collected by the buyer or a
person acting on behalf of the buyer, references in paragraphs (5) and
(6) to the final delivery of the article are to be read as its supply to the
buyer or a person acting on behalf of the buyer from that place.

(9) In paragraph (7) “locker” means a lockable container to which the
35package was delivered with a view to its collection by the buyer, or a
person acting on behalf of the buyer, in accordance with arrangements
made between the seller and the buyer.”

17 Delivery of bladed products to residential premises etc

(1) This section applies if—

(a) 40a person (“the seller”) sells a bladed product to another person (“the
buyer”), and

(b) the seller and the buyer are not in each other’s presence at the time of
the sale.

(2) The seller commits an offence if, for the purposes of supplying the bladed
45product to the buyer, the seller delivers the bladed product, or arranges for its
delivery, to residential premises.

Offensive Weapons BillPage 17

(3) The seller commits an offence if, for the purposes of supplying the bladed
product to the buyer, the seller delivers the bladed product, or arranges for its
delivery, to a locker.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) a person (“A”) is not in the presence of
5another person (“B”) at any time if—

(a) where A is an individual, A or a person acting on behalf of A is not in
the presence of B at that time;

(b) where A is not an individual, a person acting on behalf of A is not in the
presence of B at that time.

(5) 10In subsection (2) “residential premises” means premises used solely for
residential purposes.

(6) The circumstances where premises are not residential premises for the
purposes of that subsection include, in particular, where a person carries on a
business from the premises.

(7) 15In subsection (3) “locker” means a lockable container to which the bladed
product is delivered with a view to its collection by the buyer, or a person
acting on behalf of the buyer, in accordance with arrangements made between
the seller and the buyer.

(8) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) 20on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a
term not exceeding 51 weeks, to a fine or to both;

(b) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, to a fine not
exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to both.

(9) 25In relation to an offence committed before the coming into force of section
281(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the reference in subsection (8)(a) to 51
weeks is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(10) This section is subject to section 18 (defences).

18 Defences to offence under section 17

(1) 30It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 17 to prove
that they took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to
avoid the commission of the offence.

(2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 17 to prove
that the bladed product was designed or manufactured for the buyer in
35accordance with specifications provided by the buyer.

(3) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 17 to prove
that—

(a) the bladed product was adapted for the buyer before its delivery in
accordance with specifications provided by the buyer, and

(b) 40the adaptations were made to enable or facilitate the use of the product
by the buyer or its use for a particular purpose.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 17 to prove
that they reasonably believed that the buyer bought the bladed product for use
for relevant sporting purposes or for the purposes of historical re-enactment.

Offensive Weapons BillPage 18

(5) In the application of this section to Scotland references to a person proving a
matter are to be read as references to a person showing a matter.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5) a person is to be taken to have shown a
matter mentioned in this section if—

(a) 5sufficient evidence of the matter is adduced to raise an issue with
respect to it, and

(b) the contrary is not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

(7) The appropriate national authority may by regulations provide for other
defences to the offence under section 17.

(8) 10In this section—

  • “the appropriate national authority” means—

    (a)

    in relation to England and Wales, the Secretary of State,

    (b)

    in relation to Scotland, the Scottish Ministers, and

    (c)

    in relation to Northern Ireland, the Department of Justice in
    15Northern Ireland;

  • “the buyer” has the same meaning as in section 17;

  • “historical re-enactment” means a presentation or other event held for the
    purpose of re-enacting an event from the past or of illustrating conduct
    from a particular time or period in the past.

(9) 20For the purposes of this section a bladed product is used by a person for
relevant sporting purposes if and only if—

(a) the product is used by the person to participate in a competitive sport
involving combat between individuals, and

(b) use of the product is an integral part of that sport.

19 25Meaning of “bladed product” in sections 17 and 18

(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), in sections 17 and 18 “bladed product” means
an article which—

(a) is or has a blade, and

(b) is capable of causing a serious injury to a person which involves cutting
30that person’s skin.

(2) In sections 17 and 18 so far as they apply to England and Wales, “bladed
product” does not include an article described in—

(a) section 1 of the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959,

(b) an order under section 141(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, or

(c) 35an order made by the Secretary of State under section 141A(3)(c) of that
Act.

(3) In sections 17 and 18 so far as they apply to Scotland, “bladed product” does
not include an article described in—

(a) section 1 of the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959,

(b) 40an order under section 141(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988,

(c) an order made by the Secretary of State under section 141A(3)(c) of that
Act which applies to Scotland, or

(d) an order made by the Scottish Ministers under section 141A(3)(c) of that
Act.

Offensive Weapons BillPage 19

(4) In sections 17 and 18 so far as they apply to Northern Ireland, “bladed product”
does not include an article described in—

(a) Article 53 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (SI
1996/3160 (NI 24)),

(b) 5an order under section 141(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, or

(c) an order under Article 54 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland)
Order 1996.

20 Delivery of bladed articles to persons under 18

(1) This section applies if—

(a) 10a person (“the seller”) sells a bladed article to another person (“the
buyer”),

(b) the seller and the buyer are not in each other’s presence at the time of
the sale and the seller is outside the United Kingdom at that time,

(c) before the sale, the seller entered into an arrangement with a person
15who is a body corporate by which the person agreed to deliver bladed
articles for the seller,

(d) that person was aware when they entered into the arrangement that it
covered the delivery of bladed articles, and

(e) that person delivers the bladed article pursuant to that arrangement.

(2) 20For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) a person (“A”) is not in the presence of
another person (“B”) at any time if—

(a) where A is an individual, A or a person acting on behalf of A is not in
the presence of B at that time;

(b) where A is not an individual, a person acting on behalf of A is not in the
25presence of B at that time.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) a person other than an individual is
outside the United Kingdom at any time if the person does not carry on a
business of selling articles of any kind from premises in any part of the United
Kingdom at that time.

(4) 30The person mentioned in subsection (1)(e) commits an offence if, when they
deliver the bladed article, they do not deliver it into the hands of a person aged
18 or over.

(5) It is a defence for a person charged in England and Wales or Northern Ireland
with an offence under subsection (4) to prove that they took all reasonable
35precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of the
offence.

(6) It is a defence for a person (“the accused”) charged in Scotland with an offence
under subsection (4) to show that—

(a) the accused believed the person into whose hands the bladed article
40was delivered to be aged 18 or over, and

(b) either the accused had taken reasonable steps to establish the person’s
age or no reasonable person could have suspected from the person’s
appearance that the person was under the age of 18.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (6)(b), the accused is to be treated as having
45taken reasonable steps to establish the person’s age if and only if—

(a) the accused was shown any of the documents mentioned in subsection
(8), and