Q337: Is it illegal to carry a knife around in my pocket?

It is illegal to carry any sharp or bladed instrument in a public place (with the exception of a folding pocket knife, which has a blade that is less than 7.62 cm (3 inches)).

A lock knife is not a folding pocket knife and therefore it is illegal to carry around such a knife regardless of the length of the blade. A lock knife means a knife which is similar to a folding knife, in that there is a spring holding the blade closed. However, a lock knife has a mechanism which locks the blade in position when fully extended; the blade cannot be closed without that mechanism being released. A lock knife is not an offensive weapon per se (because these knives were made with a specific purpose in mind and not as a weapon). However, possession of a lock knife in a public place without reasonable excuse is an offence.

Possession of a multi-tool incorporating a prohibited blade/pointed article is capable of being an offence under this section even if there are other tools on the instrument which may be of use to a person in a public place (screwdriver, can opener). It is for the person to prove on the balance of probabilities that he/she had good reason for possession.

The penalty for committing this offence is a minimum prison sentence of six months, maximum four years and/or a fine.

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