Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted Joe Wakeham (OWB53)

I am writing to you in the hope that you will see fit to change some of the policies proposed under the new offensive weapons bill. 

While I am aware of the growing problems of knife related crime in our capital, I assure you that these actions are carried out by a minority of knife users. I am confident that if they were somehow deprived of the use of pocket knives, they would simply resort to the carry and use of ordinary - but still potentially lethal - kitchen knives to achieve their nefarious ends.

I myself, like many people, carry a knife most days and I find it to be an invaluable tool. I am also part of a large community of hobbyists who collect pen knives. 

The first part of the new bill to which I object is the ban on online retailers posting knives to a residential address. 

As an avid knife collector, I have sourced the majority of my collection online. Not only does this give me far greater choice, it also means my money is spent all over the country, which can only be good for the economy. Also, this change would negatively affect many businesses, as turnovers and profits would drop, leading to potential job losses for order picking and processing staff; this in turn would also have an adverse effect on our country’s economy and on people's lives. 

The second amendment to which I object is the change to the definition of a so-called "flick knife." While I whole-heartedly agree that a knife with a disguised blade that can open in a matter of seconds could be a danger to the public, many knives with "assisted opening" cannot be mistaken for anything other than a knife; therefore they present no more danger to the public than a kitchen knife, hatchet, or axe - which would still be readily available to anyone seeking to use a sharp-edged object as a weapon. 

Making said knives illegal would also affect collectors, who may have spent a long time and a lot of money finding and purchasing these knives for their collections. 

The knife-collecting community as a whole do not view knives as weapons: We view them as tools. Knives are among mankind’s oldest tools, and are items to be cherished and respected. I would hate to see our freedom diminished in response to the actions of a small group of miscreants who have no respect for not only the laws of this country but for the lives of the people they are attacking. The rights of the many should not be dictated by the actions of the lowest common denominator. 

Many thanks 

Joe Wakeham

10 July 2018

 

Prepared 17th July 2018