Law about carrying knives

Criminal Justice Act 1988


Sect 139 Offence of having article with blade or point in public place. (England & Wales)
(1)Subject to subsections (4) and (5) below, any person who has an article to which this section applies with him in a public place shall be guilty of an offence.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, this section applies to any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except a folding pocketknife.

(3)This section applies to a folding pocketknife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3”inches.

(4)It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in a public place.

(5)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had the article with him—
(a)for use at work;
(b)for religious reasons; or
(c)as part of any national costume.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above shall be liable-
(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both;
(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years, or a fine, or both.

(7)In this section “public place” includes any place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted access, whether on payment or otherwise.

(8)This section shall not have effect in relation to anything done before it comes into force.