Changes to the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 have been announced today and Sussex Police has welcomed the news.
It is now an offence to possess weapons including knuckledusters, zombie knives and throwing stars, even in your own home, following changes to the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 by the government today (Wednesday, July 14).
The act is in place to control the sale of knives and corrosive substances, and introduces new offences on their possession and use.
Other changes to the act include an updated definition of flick knives to reflect changes in weapon designs, and the banning of private possession of flick knives and gravity knives.
These changes will help officers to take weapons off the streets, deal with those intent on using them, and make it more difficult for young people to get hold of knives and other dangerous items in the first place.
Chief inspector Simon Yates said, “Weapons such as knuckledusters, throwing stars and zombie knives are extremely dangerous and we welcome this move to prevent them from causing harm in our local communities.
“Our officers will continue to enforce the law to keep the public safe as part of our ongoing commitment to tackle knife crime in Sussex.
“We continue our work to engage and educate the public on the dangers of knife possession by raising awareness among young people in schools. We are also working closely with retailers to prevent knives falling into the hands of young people.
“We all have a part to play in reducing knife crime and keeping the public safe and we would urge anyone with information or concerns to report it to us so we can take action.”
There will be further changes to the act later this year which brings in new provisions for the control of goods sold online.
Sussex Police says officers continue to address knife crime through targeted days of action, proactive patrols, raising awareness of the dangers of knife crime among young people and in schools and through test purchasing activities.
If you are under 18 and you feel threatened/unsafe/scared about becoming a victim of knife crime you should try to talk with your parent or carer. Alternatively talk to Childline for help on 0800 1111 or go online at childline.org.uk
If you are a parent or carer and you are concerned someone you care for is in danger of becoming a victim of knife crime, try to talk with them or seek advice from Family Lives on 0808 800 22 22.
You can report knife crime online or by calling 101. In an emergency always call 999.
To report knife crime anonymously go to https://www.fearless.org/en/give-info