'Zombie Killer Knife' Sellers Face Jail As Ban Comes Into Force For 'Horrific' Weapons

The serrated weapons can be bought for as little as £10.

15/08/2016 08:10 | Updated 15 August 2016

Those who sell zombie knives, which “glamourise violence and cause devastating damage”, will now face jail as a ban on the weapons comes into force.

The blades, which are inspired by horror films and often advertised as collectors’ items, are available on the internet for as little as £10.

Ministers launched a crackdown on the blades, which can be up to two foot-long with a serrated edge and carry images or words that can promote violence.

Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Zombie knife sellers will face jail as a new ban comes into force.

An amendment to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 prohibiting the sale, manufacture, rental or importation of zombie knives will take effect on Thursday. 

Those caught making or selling the items will face up to four years in prison.

Zombie knives:
  • Serrated weapons with long blades
  • Inspired by horror films
  • Can be bought for as little as £10
  • Often sold as collectors’ items
  • Growing use by gangs as status symbols
  • Sellers will now face up to four years in prison

There is disagreement over how effective the ban will be.

A 21-year-old woman called Renee told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that banning the knives is unlikely to make a difference in knife crime.

She said: “There are so many more (knives) out there, even with carrying knifes on the road it’s not something that should be done in the first place, but they still do it.

“So banning a knife wouldn’t really make much of a difference.”

Instead, Renee said that young people need more opportunities.

Alf Hitchcock, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for knife crime, told Today that zombie knives have become a growing problem because they are “desirable” and have a “degree of kudos” among gang members.

Responding to claims that it is just as easy to kill someone with a sharp bread knife, Hitchcock said: “The vast majority of robberies, assaults and homicides do involve kitchen knives, so that’s undoubtedly true... but these specific weapons, these zombie knives, have suddenly become very popular as a sign of bravado in gangs.”

Earlier this year a 17-year-old was convicted of manslaughter and jailed after teenage studentStefan Appleton was stabbed to death with a “Zombie Killer” machete in north London in June 2015.

Stefan Appleton was stabbed to death with a “Zombie Killer” machete in north London last year. 

Safeguarding and Countering Extremism minister, Sarah Newton, said: “This Government will act wherever necessary to cut crime and keep our communities safe.

“Zombie killer knives glamourise violence and cause devastating damage – they have no place whatsoever in our society.”

Morris Bright, of the Local Government Association, said: “Zombie knives have only one purpose – to threaten, injure or kill someone – and this ban, which the LGA has called for, will help reduce the number of lethal blades in society and stop online retailers unwittingly fuelling criminal activity which can lead to tragedy.

“An industry-backed code of practice on the naming, promotion and packaging of all knives also needs to be created - similar to that of the alcoholic drinks industry - which would promote their responsible sale.”

Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Zombie knives can be sold online for as little as £10.

The ban comes as figures show police are recording rising numbers of knife-related crimes.

Statistics show that in the year ending in March forces logged 28,664 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, a 10% jump compared with the previous 12 months.

Statisticians said the evidence currently available suggests a “complex picture” in which the latest increase could reflect a mix of both improvements in recording processes and a genuine rise in knife crime.

The ban applies to England and Wales, while legislation is also expected to be introduced in Northern Ireland.

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