Possession of article with blade or point

Average custodial sentence length for adults sentenced for possession of article with blade or point.


Source: Ministry of Justice (2021) Criminal Justice System Statistics publication: Outcomes by Offence 2010 to 2020: Pivot Table Analytical Tool for England and Wales


Offence Definition: Any person who has with them any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed, except a folding pocketknife (unless the pocketknife’ blade exceeds 3 inches), in a public place is guilty of this offence. If the person has a good reason or lawful authority for having the article with them in the public place they may have a defence.

Sentencing Guidelines Range: The sentencing range for this offence ranges from fine to 2 years 6 months’ custody, with a maximum sentence of 3 years’ custody.

Graph Explained: Adults who are convicted of possession of an article with a blade or point have seen a slight but steady increase in the average length of custodial sentence received.


Between 2010 and 2012 the custodial sentence was on average 5 months in length, increasing to 6 months between 2013 and 2015.


The length of custodial sentence appears to have reached a plateau of 7 months, having remained as the average custodial sentence length since 2016.


The most recent Sentencing Guideline has been in place since June 2018 but appears to have had little, if any, impact on altering the average length of sentence given to offenders by the court.


Reference to an article with blade or point refers to any article that has a blade or is sharply pointed, except for a folding pocketknife, unless the blade of the pocketknife is longer than 3 inches (7.62cm).


Read The Full Report Here.