‘The zombies are coming’: grab your walker-slaying weapons while you can, urges knives seller before UK ban takes effect
A company selling “zombie-knives” has been criticised as irresponsible after it urged customers to buy the weapons “while you can” before a UK-wide ban comes into force later this week.
Hunters Knives and Swords advertised a range of the horror film-inspired blades including swords, machetes and a £39.99 (HK$400) “crossbow pistol”.
In a message posted on its website on Monday, the company said: “Order now – after 16th August 2016 you will no longer be able to purchase zombie knives in the UK, so grab them while you can!”
New legislation comes into force on Thursday meaning that anyone caught in possession of a “zombie knife” will face up to four years in prison.
Inspired by horror films and often advertised as collectors’ items, they are available on the internet for as little as £10.
Last year a teenager was stabbed to death with a 63cm Zombie Killer machete in a north London park.
After being contacted by journalists, Hunters Knives and Swords changed its website to say the items were out of stock.
The company, based in Oldham, Greater Manchester, was branded irresponsible by the West
Midlands police and crime commissioner, David Jamieson, who was instrumental in implementing the ban.
“Promoting these pointless knives is irresponsible and flies in the face of what we are trying to achieve with this ban,” he said.
“Zombie knives are monstrous weapons that serve no practical use whatsoever. They are being banned because they are dangerous and companies should act responsibly. They are not your average kitchen knife or garden tool: they are pointless, OTT weapons that glamorise violence with names such as Head Splitter and Death Dagger. After a year of campaigning by my office, I am glad they are finally being banned.”
Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for knife-enabled crime, said: “Zombie knives are absolutely horrific weapons. Forces are determined to reduce the harm caused by these and all other dangerous weapons.
“There is no place for knife crime within society and this ban is further commitment to keeping communities safe.”
Ministers launched a crackdown on the blades over fears that they carry images or words that glamorise violence. Home Office minister Sarah Newton said: “This government will act wherever necessary to cut crime and keep our communities safe.
“Zombie killer knives glamorise violence and cause devastating damage – they have no place whatsoever in our society.”
Figures show police are recording rising numbers of knife-related crimes. In the year ending in March, police logged 28,664 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, a 10 per cent jump compared with the previous 12 months.