Newham detectives propose introducing ‘Rambo knife’ licences
- Credit: Met Police
Met detectives in Newham have proposed introducing licences for “Rambo knives” amid concerns a growing number are used in stabbings.
Senior detectives have discussed a "licensing or registration system" with the government amid fears hunting knives are increasingly becoming a weapon of choice among gangs.
Survival and hunting knives can be picked up online for as little as £15 online and can cause more damage than ordinary kitchen blades, police said.
The Offensive Weapons Bill, expected to come into law later this year, will mean retailers have to check the age of anyone purchasing a knife before handing over the order. The bill will also ban possession of weapons such as zombie knives, knuckle dusters and death stars.
But officers said there are legitimate reasons for buying a hunting knife and more could be done to stop dangerous blades getting onto the street. They have discussed the possibility of licences with the Home Office to make them less easy to get hold of.
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Detective Inspector Nathan Munson, from the community safety unit based in Newham, told the borough's crime commission a licensing or registration process for hunting knives could help control the numbers sold.
He said: "We need to make it more difficult for stabbings to occur. If you want a survival knife you go online and you buy one for £15.
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"The Offensive Weapons Bill will prohibit zombie knives, [but] they are not the main problem we see. It is the survival knives. I know people can say it is not hard to get hold of a kitchen knife because they are in your house, but they are not designed to kill. These weapons are more damaging."
A police spokesman said the Met is consulting with the Home Office on their serious violence strategy and a licensing or registration process for certain knives, a ban, and the need for greater diligence from retailers have all been discussed as ways of reducing the availability of potentially deadly weapons, he said.
He added: "The Met continues to work with the Home Office and other partners to see what measures can be put in place to reduce knife crime. The availability of dangerous knives and enforcement are part of that discussion."
The Offensive Weapons Bill was pushed back earlier this year for the Home Office to add knife crime prevention orders aimed at stopping feuding gang members by imposing curfews and social media bans.
A Home Office spokesperson said: "Our serious violence strategy sets government action to address knife crime and the Offensive Weapons Bill includes specific new knife offences, like making it an offence to possess certain weapons in private, and limiting knives being sent to residential addresses after they are bought online.
"We've also listened to the police, which is why we are introducing knife crime prevention orders to help police manage those at risk in the community, including on release from prison."