Campaigning Sandwell MP demands action over deadly knife trade

9:38am Friday 21st March 2014

CAMPAIGNING MP Tom Watson and Sandwell Council's public health supremo have teamed up to demand the removal of deadly machetes being sold openly.

The pair want the Government to alter knife laws after machetes were found on sale at a Black Country market.

Mr Watson has criticised the Home Office after ministers said there were no current plans to change knife laws in the UK.

The MP recently contacted Norman Baker, minister for crime prevention, after machete knives with 18-inch blades were again spotted on sale at a Black Country market.

Mr Watson first raised the issue of machete knives being sold at the Bescot Sunday Market in 2010 but bosses there said then the blades were only sold to legitimate customers and that the law permitted their sale.

Mr Watson said: “The vast majority of people, other than gardeners and fisherman, have no use whatsoever for machete knives. It is shocking that the law continues to allow these dangerous weapons to be sold at a Sunday market.”

Sandwell Council public health supremo Councillor Paul Moore backed the MP’s campaign.

He said: “How these killer knives can be legally be sold is beyond me and I am trying to find out whether any are openly for sale in Sandwell."

Under existing legislation it is illegal to sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18; to carry a knife in public without good reason; to carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife or to use it in a threatening way.

It is also an offence to market knives in a way that incites violence, with the maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife being four years imprisonment and a fine of £5,000.

Norman Baker MP, minister for crime prevention, told Mr Watson: “The offensive weapons legislation is kept under constant review, but there are no plans to ban the sale of machetes at the present time.

He added: “Although occasionally machetes are used in crime, the evidence does not show that it is a weapon of choice.”


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