On knife-crime island, teens are not allowed to buy spoons


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Mrs Whelan said she sent Liam out to buy the spoons because he and his brother, Josh, keep losing them.

Something tells me there’s another story here…


Don’t bring it up, or they really will prevent all teens from buying spoons.

In the States, don’t they prevent kids from buying cans of spray paint?

…although I guess there are many more legitimate reasons to buy kitchen knives than spray paint.

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Germany has an “over 18” policy on knives as well. Not sure on the specifics but when I went there for a high school summer trip, I was pretty popular with other students because I was 18 and could buy them all the fancy cutlery they wanted to sneak back home.

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I’d have thought that a parliament as stuffed with criminals as the UK’s would know just how many different innocent-looking objects you can turn into one hell of a mean prison shiv with nothing more than a little patience, bare concrete, and the burning desire to shank the the snitch in the next cell…

Clearly a problem of excessively low conviction rates.


Nothing at the national level, to my knowledge; but municipal politicians who want to Get Tough On Graffiti ban spray paint and permanent markers pretty regularly.

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There is no spoon.


A friend of mine was suspended for 3 days under a “Zero Tolerance” policy at our charter school in PA, for having a spoon. He brought it with his lunch, threw away the lunchbag, then kept the spoon in his pocket to take home. In music class, he took out the spoon to fidget with. Our teacher saw it in his hand, freaked out, and sent him to the office over his objections that it was just a spoon. When he got there he was promptly sent home & like i said, suspended for 3 days. This was probably 2002, 7th grade for me.


“he kid’s stepmum says that she can understand why her stepson shouldn’t be allowed to buy forks or butter knives”

Well, that makes one of us.


In the US we give our kids guns to protect themselves from maniacs like him.


It’s all tea and crumpets until someone loses an eye.


There rarely was a day that went by when I didn’t use my Leatherman to fix something at work. Then, after 9/11, it was deemed a threat to our security as a nation, so simple adjustments were ignored, which became real problems, so we had to call the maintenance guy who may or may not show up on the same day.


You take a plane to work every day?

(To be clear, I think all these security policies and panicked safety-fetish laws are idiotic, I’m not arguing with you there; I’m just honestly confused as to how you could run up against them on a daily basis taking taking such a tool to work in your pocket.)

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Just to ask the question, mostly because I am curious. Was knife crime really that rampant, or was it just a case of over sensationalism?

Legally that’s only for knives that are specifically designed as weapons (daggers, swords…) and not for normal kitchen or even outdoor knives. Merchants tend to err on the side of caution though, because the distinction can be a bit unclear, especially if the branding is sufficiently martial. Parents who may not agree that the Commando CommieScalper 5000 is functionally a plain old outdoor knife can cause more trouble than most shops are willing to deal with.

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Things are sure different at my daughter’s school. She’s in 4th grade, 9 years old, and I often send a knife in her lunch bag so that she can prepare sandwiches (she likes to keep the sandwich components separate so they don’t mush together before lunchtime). Sure, it’s a relatively dull butter knife style of knife, but there’s been no big deal about it.

Even more amazing to me, two years ago there was a biography project at school. She was portraying Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter. How can you present Annie Oakley without a rifle? So we asked permission to bring in a fake rifle and the school was OK with it. We made it out of painted cardboard and PVC pipe. Even though we asked permission, I was kind of prepared for someone to freak out, but again, it was no big deal.

This is in California. I’m glad not every place is as paralyzed with fear as it sometimes seems.


The Guardian reports

The evening Standard reports

They report, you decide!

I worked in a bank vault for nine years. Believe me, it’s not as glamorous as it sounds. I couldn’t bring my own tools, but the place was full of busted-up X-acto knives and scissors to open bags and cut the plastic straps on the currency. Most of the rules in the place were pretty much arbitrary, according to how much it onconvenienced a supervisor.