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Machetes and some serrated knives could be seized from the homes of suspected criminals under a new United Kingdom proposal amid a crackdown on dangerous weapons. Under the proposed law, criminals who buy or sell them could face up to two years in jail.
The crackdown would ban the sale and possession of some machetes and unmarked zombie-style knives, according to a report from The Telegraph. Police would also be given powers to seize and destroy the weapons, while criminals would face tougher sentences for their sale and possession.
Kitchen knives on display at the 2023 Bar & Restaurant Expo and World Tea Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 28, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Nightclub & Bar Media Group)
While some machetes and similar knives can have “legitimate uses”, such as in gardening, criminals are using them “simply to terrify and harm victims,” the UK’s Home Office, which handles immigration, security, and law and order, said.
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“Machetes and other large knives are a danger to our communities.” Home Secretary Suella Braverman said. “Stabbings and murders are all too widespread. As thugs attack each other on our streets with these weapons, they pose a serious problem in some of our towns and cities.”
“Machetes and other large knives are a danger to our communities.”
Home Secretary Braverman argued that law enforcement “must go further” in preventing stabbings and deaths in UK, noting that police have taken 90,000 knives and offensive weapons off of the streets from 2019.
“These knives, which have no legitimate purpose they used simply to terrify and harm victims, are often sold and advertised on social media sites like TikTok and Snapchat.” Policing Minister Chris Philp echoed. “This simply cannot go on.”
The Home Office defined unmarked zombie-style knives as blades with a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words either on the blade or handle that suggest it is to be used for violence.
A machete is a broad, heavy blade. Its blade is usually between 10 and 28 inches.
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Under current laws in England and Wales, if police find a machete or other legal blade in someone’s home they cannot seize or act on this, even if they believe the items will be used in crime. It is also illegal to carry most knives in public without a “good reason” such as for work purposes or to sell most knives or any weapons to anyone under the age of 18.
This picture taken on September 16, 2022, shows a variety of knives displayed at a factory of Sumikama Cutlery in Seki, Gifu prefecture. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
The government move comes after a judge urged people to write to their Members of Parliament about the availability of dangerous weapons online after a young man was found guilty of killing another 18-year-old with a 22-inch-long zombie knife.
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Emadh Miah, 18, faces life in prison after murdering 18-year-old Ghulam Sadiq, who he ambushed and stabbed in Leytonstone, England last year.
Sarah Rumpf-Whitten is a writer on the breaking news team for Fox News Digital. You can reach her on Twitter at @s_rumpfwhitten.