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Is it ok to carry a pocket knife? | Kit / Clothing / Equipment | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Is it ok to carry a pocket knife?



Jinx45

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
I just joined as I'm going to London in a couple months for 2 weeks and planning on doing some exploring. I do a lot of urbex photography, but it's always been in the northeast U.S.. I do have a question about equipment and I can't find the answer on google. I've read that in the U.K. trespassing is a civil offense and, unless it's a government building, all they do is kick you out. Is that still the case if you have a pocket knife? In the U.S. if you have a knife and are caught trespassing it can be a much more serious criminal offense, and the same is true if you had a grappling hook, which is something that doesn't seem to cause problems in the U.K. So if I have a knife that is otherwise legal to carry in the U.K. (Spyderco has a U.K. legal one I'm looking at, I think it was 2.5 inches), could that result in criminal charges? Or is it still a civil offense? I'm not afraid of getting kicked out of a building in the U.K., but don't want to deal with a court or anything on vacation.
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Welcome along :thumb

Why would you want to carry a pocket knife while exploring?

In England and Wales it could be construed as going equipped if you are caught, so not just trespass. I'd leave it at home.
 

Grom

Camera Drowner
Regular User
#3
Would this apply to Multi-tool pliers too I wonder? I have sometimes brought mine on explores, I guess anything like that can constitute going equipped.
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Would this apply to Multi-tool pliers too I wonder? I have sometimes brought mine on explores, I guess anything like that can constitute going equipped.
Again why would you need to take them?

Tripod shoe usually a coin will undo / tighten. Why take something which you don't need that may drop you in more trouble.
 

fortknox0

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#6
Quite a few years back I was exploring and had a leatherman multi tool with me, to cut a long story short I got searched and they tried doing me for "possession of a bladed object" as it had a locking blade, and they considered going equipped but didn't bother.

you might find this an interesting read, didn't write it myself.......

The CJA 1988 mainly relates to carrying knives in public places, Section 139 being the most important.

"It is an offence for any person, without lawful authority or good reason, to have with him in a public place, any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except for a folding pocket-knife which has a cutting edge to its blade not exceeding 3 inches." [CJA 1988 section 139(1)]

The phrase "good reason" is intended to allow for "common sense" possession of knives, so that it is legal to carry a knife if there is a bona fide reason to do so. Examples of bona fide reasons which have been accepted include: a knife required for ones trade (e.g. a chefs knife), as part of a national costume (e.g. a sgian dubh), or for religious reasons (e.g. a Sikh Kirpan).

In this case, public place is meant as anywhere accessible to the public, so for example a private campsite, which members of the public must book to use, is a public place. Also, knives should only be carried to and from and used at the location where they are needed. For example, leaving a knife in a car for use when you go fishing would be illegal. It should be taken back into the house each time you use the car (other than to go fishing). [1]

The special exception which exists in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (s139) for folding knives (pocket knives) is another "common sense" measure accepting that some small knives are carried for general utility however even a folding pocket knife of less than 3" (76mm) may still be considered an offensive weapon if carried or used for that purpose. It was a long held common belief that a folding knife must be non-locking for this provision to apply.

A Crown Court case (Harris v DPP), ruled (case law). A lock knife for all legal purposes, is the same as a fixed blade knife. A folding pocket knife must be readily foldable at all times. If it has a mechanism that prevents folding, it's a lock knife (or for legal purposes, a fixed blade) The Court of Appeal (REGINA - v - DESMOND GARCIA DEEGAN 1998) upheld the Harris ruling stating that "folding was held to mean non-locking". No leave to appeal was granted.
 

Six

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#7
I really don't see why you'd need to carry a knife when you're exploring anyway tbh.

If it's for self defence there are other things you can carry that aren't likely to get you in trouble should you get caught.
 

Jinx45

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
Well, I tend to carry a knife just because they're useful. I've used them hiking when my foot got caught in a bunch of thorny vines (it avoided ripping up my pants trying to navigate out), something which I've encountered near many buildings as well. But once in the building, the two reasons are if I ever did get caught on something that I couldn't get off, or if I needed to get unstuck quickly due to trying to get away quickly from a squatter (I've had a couple friends who suddenly encountered a screaming homeless squatter running after them), or worst case scenario self defense. I know the reach of the tripod makes it better defense in most situations, but since I shoot mostly with long exposures (I find bouncing a bright flashlight off the wall gives a more natural light light than a flash, it just takes longer), I tend to wander a bit during them and I'm often not actually within reach of the tripod if something happened suddenly. It's really more a peace of mind thing than anything so I'd like to have it, but if it presents a legal issue then I wouldn't take it.
 

Jinx45

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
Also just to be sure, grappling hooks are ok, right? I've seen videos where cops caught people using them and it didn't seem an issue, but just wanted to be sure.
 

Six

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#11
I don't know about grappling hooks tbh, the main question you need to ask yourself is why you would need that when wandering around a derelict building because that's the question the police are going to ask and if your answer isn't good enough you're just giving them a reason to take you down the station (and some police really don't need much of a reason!).

I understand you've needed your knife when hiking etc etc but I can't see the police believing that's your intention for having one when urban exploring.

In terms of self defence, get yourself some stoppa-red or farb spray (essentially the same thing) if you're concerned. Alternatively a big 'ol torch can come in handy.

In my opinion it's just not worth the hassle you're potentially causing yourself to carry a knife or have a grappling hook (though I really don't know about the latter) when it's not really necessary.
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#12
Like everything in life, just keep it simple and then it can't be misconstrued. No knife, Leatherman, grappling hook, bolt croppers, TNT, Semtex, lock picking tools, cherry picker or jet pack.

Just a camera, tripod, few lenses, shutter release, torch or 2, mars bar, rucksack and a few kronies.
 

Speed

Got Epic?
Staff member
Moderator
#14
Bottom line is nothings 'ok' going there in the first place isnt 'ok' despite what you may read online about trespass laws. If they want to do you for something they will and having anything dodgy on you just makes it much easier for them.
 

mrg9999

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#15
Bottom line is nothings 'ok' going there in the first place isnt 'ok' despite what you may read online about trespass laws. If they want to do you for something they will and having anything dodgy on you just makes it much easier for them.
Who is the "They" in this context?