Owners to get compensation as some knives and guns become illegal

Owners of weapons, including zombie knives and brass knuckles, are offered compensation for handing them in to the police.

Items that will soon be banned when the Offensive Weapons Act goes into effect next year could be turned in under a three-month government plan in England and Wales that kicked off Thursday.

It was already illegal to publicly own a knife or assault weapon, but the new law makes it illegal to privately own certain rapid-fire rifles, certain types of knives, and other assault weapons.

The list includes zombie knives, cyclone knives, brass knuckles, death star knives, shearing knives, gravity knives, batons, disguised knives, push daggers and other assault weapons.

Lawful owners can claim a fee for submitting it to the police if the total value of the claim is more than £ 30.

A form available on the government’s website values ​​a brass knuckle-duster for £ 2, a zombie knife for £ 10, a blowgun for £ 14 and a .308 lever-release rifle for £ 5,105.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, National Police Commissioner Chief of Knife Crime, said: “Tackling knife crime and reducing violence is a top priority for policing.

“The surrender program will enable us to remove dangerous weapons from the streets and help keep our communities safe.

“Every weapon removed may be a life saved and I urge people to please help us make our streets safer.”

The Offensive Weapons Act was enacted by the government in response to a spike in serious violence, including knife crime.

It not only banned the possession of dangerous weapons privately, but also made it a criminal offense to sell bladed products online without verifying that the buyer was over 18 years old.

According to the latest knife crime figures for England and Wales, there were 18,108 offenses in the year to September, compared to 22,449 in the previous period.

The number of recorded crimes in the second quarter of 2020, during the peak of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, fell to 2,786 compared to 4,925 in the first three months of the year, according to data from the Justice Department.

This started to rise again to 5,190 between July and September.

Approximately 6,426 offenses resulted in immediate imprisonment in the year to September, up from 8,554 in the same period in 2019.

Crime and Police Minister Kit Malthouse said: “I am determined to ensure that our streets are safe from the scourge of violent crime.

“We prohibit the possession of dangerous weapons that have a high potential for harm – every item that is returned is one that can no longer fall into the hands of criminals.

“The government’s top priority will always be to keep the public safe and we ensure that our laws and police powers comply with these obligations.”