when is a knife not a knife?
October 4, 2006
Knifeman scales railings behind Downing Street
A 32-year-old man will appear in court today charged with possessing “a bladed article” and assaulting a police officer following a security breach at Downing Street. “Bladed article”- I like that. So what’s a gun- a barrelled bullet-containing device? I was almost right- according to the Firearms Act of 1968 a firearm is “a lethal barrelled weapon of any description, from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged.” Peashooters? A well-aimed pea can be pretty lethal. The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 also has problems with another term: ” for ‘rifle’ there shall be substituted the words ‘rifled gun'”. Much clearer. I wonder what the law on knives is- ah, here we are: Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 prohibits the possession in a public place of any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed”. Oh dear, sharply pointed, too- better keep those knitting needles out of sight at home granny.
Anyway, the knife, sorry ‘bladed article’ business reminds me of the old joke about the man who stabbed Margaret Thatcher. What offence was he charged with? Having an offensive person on his weapon.