Ian Austin – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Ian Austin on 2016-01-15.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the risks posed by the legal sale of zombie knives in the UK.

Karen Bradley

The Government continues to work with the police and partners to ensure we reduce violence and knife crime, and in the year ending June 2015, knife crime recorded by the police was 17% lower than 2010. We are aware of concerns about zombie knives and we are currently considering representations including the letter of 13 January from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the West Midlands and on 21 January from the prospective mayoral candidate for London Zac Goldsmith. A reply will be sent shortly and we will offer to meet with the PCC.

We are currently considering what action to take against the prevalence of zombie knives on our streets. We are talking to retailers, including Amazon, about the action they can take. There are strict laws on the sale of knives to under 18s and on how knives can be marketed. We are concerned about any knives being carried in public especially if used to threaten and inflict violence. It is a criminal offence to possess a knife in public without good reason, and if a person is convicted a second time they now face a minimum mandatory custodial sentence following the introduction of this change by the Government in July 2015.