I remember a decade or more ago, before I became jaded and studied the list of 'offensive weapons' as they are deemed here, I used to carry a lockable folding knife (essentially it is something everybody can see the usefulness of, and the lockable aspect makes it less likely for me to trap my fingers). Being young and sprightly and on my way home, I took a shortcut and hopped over an eight foot fence, only to land next to a police car (note to self, look before you leap
), the occupants of which promptly searched me. The two guys (one of whom was clearly a freshling learning the job), having thrown me against the car, then debated over taking me in for carrying an offensive weapon (!), finally agreeing to do so because it would be good experience for the guy (!!). I was cuffed and thrown this time into the back of the car. At the police station I sat in a cell for a few hours before being questioned over my crimes, and was accused of going about armed and clearly having the intention to buy or sell drugs (!!?!) due to the neighbourhood I was moving through and the change in my pocket. Also, apparently my story that a knife is simply the most useful and multi-functional tool known to man was clearly a pathetic excuse. Long story short, they took a DNA swab for their database, made me sign a destruction permit for my knife, cautioned me, entered it on my permanent record despite telling me they wouldn't (caused some querying during my vetting later) and sent me on my way a day later.
All of this came about because I wanted a pocket knife that was safe to use...
Now something else that really got to me was that while listening to the two cops chatting it became apparent that they had only taken me in to fill their quota, and had let a guy with drugs in his glove compartment go earlier in the day because it would have been too much paperwork.