Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Leszek Sikon (OWB35)

I'm writing to you in regards to the article 15 of the Offensive Weapons Bill (HC Bill 232). As a craftsman, if this bill passes in its current form I would simply lose my main source of income. I'm an Artist Blacksmith that specializes in kitchen tools especially chefs knives.

I have spent 4 years of my life training to be a blacksmith and invested all of my savings to set up my workshop last year. All my products are made by hand and it's a long and expensive process, hence my prices are high as well. My cheapest knife cost £75 for small pairing knife to £1500 for a bespoke chef knife.

As you might expect I do not sell many of them 4-5 knives a month, my clients come from all around the UK and abroad. That is why it is crucial for me to be allowed to post my work if I would not be able to post them to my customer's homes I will lose my source of income. 

I understand government position due to a high knife crime rates last year, but this bill will destroy lives of thousands of craftsmen in the UK that create bespoke tools for kitchen, woodworking etc. and in my personal opinion it will not stop posting of cheap knives from abroad to residential addresses it will only affect businesses in the UK.

But I think the solution to this issue, can be an option to post them to a post office closest to the customer. the infrastructure is already there, Royal Mail has plenty of pick up points for "missed packages" that you can pick up directly from the post office by showing your ID. If I, for example, would be allowed to mark my package meant for my customer that it is meant to be picked up at one of those points instead of delivering directly. This way Royal Mail can check at the pickup point if the recipient of the package is an adult.

I hope you will understand my situation and situation of many other UK craftsmen that would have to quit working in their chosen profession if this bill would pass.

With best regards

Leszek Sikon

10 July 2018

 

Prepared 17th July 2018