Offensive weapon

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There are three categories of offensive weapon

  • those “Made” for causing injury e.g. flick knife, sword stick, or a police truncheon; and
  • those “Adapted” for causing injury; for e.g. a bottle broken so it has a jagged edge, a potato with razor blades inserted; and
  • thirdly those weapons neither made or adapted for causing injury but carried for that purpose.

Whether the article is a weapon because it has been adapted is a question of fact for the Court. If the article is neither made nor adapted for causing injury to the person then the prosecution must prove it was carried for that intention.

'Offensive weapon' is defined under Section 1(9) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and Codes of Practice A23 as any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use or by someone else. There are three categories of offensive weapons: those made for causing injury to the person; those adapted for such a purpose; and those not so made or adapted, but carried with the intention of causing injury to the person. A firearm, as defined by section 57 of the Firearms Act 1968, would fall within the definition of offensive weapon if any of the criteria above is satisfied.

Having an offensive weapon in a public place is an offense under the Prevention of crime act 1953

(1)Any person who without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, the proof whereof shall lie on him, has with him in any public place any offensive weapon shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable—
(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding 200, or both;.
(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years or a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, or both..
(2)Where any person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) of this section the court may make an order for the forfeiture or disposal of any weapon in respect of which the offence was committed..
Criminal Law