<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d14058325\x26blogName\x3dChiswickite++-+formerly+The+Croydonian\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://croydonian.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_GB\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://croydonian.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d2605630255414466250', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Carry one of these, and Ian Blair thinks you should be off to the Big House


The Met's site has a report of a generally sensible speech by Ian Blair, much of which deals with the fettering of the police's discretion by legislation and the mountains of paperwork required for even minor offences.

However, towards the end he comes up with this piece of silliness:

"I repeat that I am not asking that everyone who carries a knife goes to prison. I also know that there must be exceptions, such as foreign travellers transiting Heathrow, but what I want to see is that everyone who carries a knife or other offensive weapon on the streets of London knows they are at risk of going to prison because they will be appearing in front of magistrates, rather than being cautioned".

Granted, I have chosen the smallest Swiss Army knife I could find, and moreover one in electric pink, the price for which includes a donation to the Breast Cancer Campaign, but lumping all knives together - including kitchen knives, presumably is just silly. What am I bid for bored Plod intent on bumping up their arrest rates hanging around the kitchen department of Peter Jones that they might nick table knife (1) buyers once they exit to the King's Road? My point is that there are perfectly legitimate reasons for carrying knives, and the mens rea of an 'offender' has to play a role in this crime as it does with other crimes, along with the act itself. Returning to one of my favourite hobby horses, there are an awful lot of outwardly innocuous objects that lend themselves to becoming makeshift weapons - fancy having a snapped CD drawn across one's throat?

(1) While at conference I had the opportunity to see the contents of the confiscated / abandoned / forgotten case at the metal detection unit, and there were a couple of table knives there - presumably belonging to a couple intent on having a civilised picnic lunch somewhere within the confines of the Winter Gardens.

Labels:

« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Blogger Ed said... 4:23 pm

When I was bored at Gatwick once I asked the security guys why I wasn't allowed to take razor blades in my hand luggage when they were on sale after security. They said (and I loved the honesty) that it was all down to commerce, the airports would go bust if they had to stop selling dangerous items. The bloke pointed out the danger of a broken bottle of duty free, for example.

After that liquid explosives scare I wrote to the Police asking how they could stop dubious airport staff taking liquid explosives onto "air side" and handing them to an associate to take onto a plane. Never had a reply.  



Blogger flashgordonnz said... 12:10 am

A coolegue has just recounted how they were prevented from bringing a jar of jam on board their flight (more than 100mls) but were handed a packet containing 3 full size metal knives and a fork. They drank wine from a real-glass glass (the airhostess dropped a trayfull to the consternation of sleeping passengers).

Any terriorists reading this: make a menatl note to fly business class.  



» Post a Comment