Zombie Knives | KANGS Knife Crime Offences Defence Solicitors
A zombie knife, also known as a zombie killer knife or zombie slayer knife is an ornate knife or bladed weapon which normally has a cutting edge, a serrated edge and depicts images or words on either the blade or handle indicating that it is to be used for violent use.
As the result of their increasing use in criminal activity, possession of such a knife was made illegal in 2016. However, sales continued and, by removing the threatening wording on the blade or handle inciting violence, the legal restrictions were avoided.
As the result of the continuing escalation in knife crime the Government, in order to close this loophole, has announced its intention to impose a ban on zombie-style knives, cyclone knives and machetes ‘that have no practical use and will give police more powers to seize knives’.
In articles posted to this website in June 2023, entitled ‘Underage Sale of Knives |New Sentencing Guidelines’ we explained the enhanced powers granted to courts when sentencing offenders after 1 April 2023.
The Government is now planning further measures by way of new legislation.
John Veale of KANGS comments upon the general position.
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The Relevant Law | KANGS Knife Crime Defence Solicitors
Section 47 Offensive Weapons Act 2019 states:
‘Prohibition on the possession of offensive weapons: supplementary
(1) The Schedule to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988 (SI 1988/2019) is amended in accordance with subsections (2) to (9).
(2) In paragraph 1, after paragraph (r) insert—
“(s) the weapon sometimes known as a “zombie knife”, “zombie killer knife” or “zombie slayer knife”, being a blade with—
(1) a cutting edge;
(ii) a serrated edge; and
(iii) images or words (whether on the blade or handle) that suggest that it is to be used for the purpose of violence.”
(3)In paragraph 1, after paragraph (s) insert—
“(t) the weapon sometimes known as a “cyclone knife” or “spiral knife” being a weapon with—
(i) a handle,
(ii) a blade with two or more cutting edges, each of which forms a helix, and
(iii) a sharp point at the end of the blade.
Proposed Changes | KANGS Serious Crime Defence Solicitors
In August 2023, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced, when commenting on this crackdown on Zombie style knives:
- The maximum prison sentence for importation, manufacture, distribution, possession and sale of such weapons to under 18s will increase to two years.
- Police will be given increased power to seize such weapons from private premises if they have reasonable grounds to believe, the weapons are to be used in a serious crime.
- A new offence is to be introduced for possession of a bladed article with the intention of endangering life or causing fear of violence. The Sentencing Council will be asked to consider amending Sentencing Guidelines for the possession of bladed articles and offensive weapons so these are treated more seriously than possession of a non-prohibited weapons.
How Can We Help? | KANGS National Criminal Defence Solicitors
We operate a 24/7 emergency call out service in the event that you are arrested and are to be interviewed under caution by the police. We can assist you with all stages of any criminal investigation and prosecution.
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