30 July 2018
In April this year, the government, published the Offensive Weapons Bill. With this piece of legislation, it seeks to reduce knife crime by introducing a number of key changes including new restrictions on sales of bladed articles.
Whilst the Bill is well intentioned, it has failed to acknowledge the impact on theatre and film professionals. If it becomes law, in particular Article 15 of the Bill, it will make it impossible for self-employed tradespeople to have bladed tools delivered to their residence and for professionals to acquire specialist tools.
This will have a serious and detrimental effect on all registered fight directors, stunt professionals, fight teachers, actors, theatres and theatre companies working in the UK. Even buying a simple fencing sword will become almost impossible.
The Bill is currently at Public Bill Committee stage and the last date for submission of written evidence to the committee is Thursday 13 September, so there is a small window of opportunity for Equity members to influence the outcome of any changes to the Bill. There is also an online petition calling for the removal of Article 15 of the Offensive Weapons Bill.