Gardening, DIY and cooking excuses won’t work on knife crime team
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Anyone caught carrying a knife on Nottingham’s streets will find themselves in trouble – no matter what sharp excuse they come up with.
That’s the warning issued by the force’s city knife crime team after they arrested two suspects and seized a pair of blades during a single stop.
The specialist officers were scouring the Bulwell area during one of their daily patrols when they spotted a car being driven suspiciously, so pulled it over in Bacton Avenue.
Shortly after approaching the vehicle at around 5.20pm on Thursday (10 August), the team carried out a search of the occupants, which led to the discovery of both a lock knife and a Stanley knife.
Two men, both aged 28, were then arrested on suspicion of possession of a bladed article in public.
The force's two dedicated knife crime teams regularly hear a variety of different excuses after uncovering weapons during their intelligence-led stop and searches.
From claims they'd just been doing the gardening, to people telling them they'd been using the knife at work and forgot they had it, Sergeant Matt Daley has heard it all, but warned these types of excuses simply won’t wash with either him or his city knife crime team.
“We’ve heard every type of reason for carrying a knife that you can think of, whether its that they’re off to a relative’s house to cook them dinner, or they’ve literally just finished doing some DIY and have just popped out without thinking,” said Sgt Daley.
“A common one we often hear as well, is that they need the knife for work and forgot they had it, so we do probably uncover craft knives, as well as kitchen knives, the most when we stop and search people.
“While some people think they’re being clever or try and make a reason for carrying a knife up on the spot, the fact is there is no good excuse for carrying a knife in public, so these defences won’t stand up in a police interview or in court.”
In addition to carrying knives in public, under the Offensive Weapons Act, which came into force in July 2021, it is also illegal for people to keep certain weapons in their homes or in a private place, such as knuckledusters, samurai swords, zombie knives, throwing stars or friction lock batons.
Bearing all of this in mind, Sgt Daley is adamant that, like some of the different tales they hear from people they stop, claiming ignorance won’t be seen as a valid excuse for anyone found with a weapon in their possession.
He added: “As a team, we’re absolutely dedicated to doing whatever we can to take knives and other weapons off our streets and out of harm’s way.
“Everything we do is aimed at targeting those that intelligence suggests could be linked to weapon-enabled crime, so that we can make our communities safer.
“By going out and about each day carrying out our patrols in the way we do, we’re able to be the eyes and ears on the streets, so that we can keep a lookout for anyone who could be a potential knife-carrier.
“It’s not acceptable for anyone to take a knife out in public, and anyone who does so should expect to find themselves in trouble.”