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Herald Sun News Article

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  • Wednesday, March 08 2006 @ 01:27 PM UTC
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Interesting news in article Herald-Sun with "definition of dangerous weapons" (emphasis mine)

Knife disgrace as deadly weapons returned
Mark Buttler
09mar06

POLICE have seized up to 80 knives from a suburban service station but will have to give most of them back.
The shock seizure came as Melbourne reels from a spate of 11 knife attacks in a week, including three fatal stabbings. Police found flick knives, daggers and swords on sale at a Reservoir petrol station yesterday.
But most will be returned to the owner because they don't have a sharpened edge from the tip to the handle the legal definition of a dangerous weapon.
"Let's hope the ones we give back aren't used in a murder," said Sgt Wayne Taylor of Reservoir police. "It's an amazing assortment of things."
Officers from the force's licensing services section examined the knives before deciding to return them.
Sgt Taylor said the knives were on full public display, next to a pie warmer.
Reservoir police were recently menaced by a knife-wielding man who has a manslaughter conviction. He was disarmed by an officer wielding a police baton.
A string of knife attacks in Melbourne continued yesterday when a man in his 20s was stabbed at a Kilsyth house.
He was flown to the Alfred hospital in a serious condition, suffering multiple stab wounds from a domestic incident.
A day earlier, an elderly couple visiting from Sri Lanka were stabbed to death outside their Hallam house as their daughter and a grandchild looked on.
But police chief Christine Nixon yesterday said the spate of stabbings was little more than a statistical blip.
"You have to take them in their own context," she said.
"In some cases they are family issues, in other cases . . . there is a revenge stabbing.
"We do have people now in custody for a number of those and appearing before the courts, so we are working on that."
Ms Nixon said legislation on knives was strong enough and police would continue checking for people carrying knives, especially at events such as the Commonwealth Games.
Police were given 480 metal detectors in October 2003 along with new powers allowing them to search people they reasonably suspected were carrying weapons.
But police are unable to say how many people have been arrested for possessing a knife without lawful excuse since the change.
"The issue around knives is always going to be a difficult one. You just can't take knives away," Ms Nixon said.
"People don't use a particular knife to stab people. They can use your garden variety kitchen knife.
"We try to use the various metal detectors that we have in different locations when we think there is a risk of people carrying knives."
Opposition police spokesman Kim Wells said police should conduct more random checks with the metal detectors.
"We don't have enough police out on the street making pro-active checks. It is all reactive, which is not what was promised when the metal detectors were introduced," he said.
People carrying knives without a lawful excuse face up to six months' jail or a $12,000 fine.
In 2004-05, knives were used in almost 2000 crimes, including 39 homicides, 76 rapes, 505 robberies, 1207 assaults, 48 abductions and kidnaps, and 47 aggravated burglaries.
Ms Nixon said checking for knives and other weapons would be a priority during the Commonwealth Games.
A week out from the Games, she said police and other security agencies were ready, with all venues locked down after final security sweeps.
She said airport-style X-ray screening would start this week at the MCG when spectators attend two dress rehearsals for the opening ceremony.
Two new $250,000 mobile police stations will be used during the Games.
The vans are fitted with computers, communications equipment and interview space.


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