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Calls for zombie knives, machetes and other ‘weapons of war’ to be banned

Labour MP Helen Hayes makes urgent call for zombie knives, Rambo knives, machetes and ninja swords to be banned in the UK (Andrew Matthews/PA Images)
Labour MP Helen Hayes makes urgent call for zombie knives, Rambo knives, machetes and ninja swords to be banned in the UK (Andrew Matthews/PA Images)

Zombie knives, machetes and other “weapons of war” would be banned in a bid to protect youngsters under a proposed law tabled in the House of Commons.

Labour MP Helen Hayes said knife crime has had an “absolutely devastating impact” on families and communities in her constituency of Dulwich and West Norwood.

Ms Hayes said her Offensive Weapons Bill would extend to all zombie knives, “Rambo”-style knives, machetes and ninja swords and cover the sale, marketing and possession of these weapons.

She added that a licencing scheme with “rigorous age verification” could be set up to approve legitimate purchases.

Labour MP Helen Hayes
Labour MP Helen Hayes said knife crime has had an ‘absolutely devastating impact’ on families and communities in her constituency of Dulwich and West Norwood (David Woolfall/UK Parliament/PA)

Ms Hayes was allowed to introduce her Bill to the Commons on Tuesday and asked for it to be considered further at second reading on February 23.

The Government put forward plans to ban some zombie-style knives in August last year, but Ms Hayes said this is “insufficient” because the ban does not cover all offensive weapons, such as swords.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms Hayes said: “Knife crime has an absolutely devastating impact on local communities as well as families. It takes away any sense of safety and security, makes young people afraid and traumatised, acts as a barrier to self belief, aspiration and engagement in education and learning.

“In August last year, I attended an end of summer celebration at a local youth centre, I watched young people perform songs, raps and poems they had written and produced themselves. There was nothing but love and support in the room as we celebrated everything they had achieved together.

“A few days later I met some of those same young people again nearby at a police line, watching as the body of a young man they knew was being removed from underneath a forensics tent after he had been fatally stabbed.

“We all felt utterly bleak, it seemed that all of the good work of the summer had been completely undone in that moment.”

She added: “The communities I represent, and communities across the country, cannot wait any longer. Young people are dying on our streets because in the words of the clinical director of emergency medicine at my local hospital ‘weapons of war’ are readily available to buy on the internet and have delivered to their doorsteps.

“The ban that the Government is proposing is insufficient, it is too narrow and it would leave the perpetrators of violence able to shift to a different weapon of choice, such as a sword.

“My ban would extend to all zombie knives, Rambo knives, machetes and ninja swords and it would cover the sale, marketing and possession of these weapons.

“There are very few legitimate reasons to have a hunting knife or a sword in London, or indeed any area of the country, and a licencing scheme with rigorous age verification could be introduced for any such legitimate purchases.

“This issue is urgent, no family should have to endure the pain of losing a young person with their whole lives ahead of them.”

Ms Hayes’s Bill is unlikely to become law in its current form due to a lack of parliamentary time.