Is Pepper Spray Illegal In The UK (Legal Consequences)

London (Parliament Politics Magazine) – The murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa are highlighting the dangers women may face if they walk alone in the streets. After this dreadful incident, the number of police has increased in such areas. However, women feel it is unsafe if they move around without carrying pepper spray. This spray is a non-lethal weapon that is used for protection and self-defense. It is necessary to know that carrying pepper spray is considered illegal in the UK. If you do so, it may land you in jail.

Is It Legal To Carry Pepper Spray?

No, carrying pepper spray is not legal in the UK. If you do so it will be considered against the law. A pepper spray is termed a firearm under the Firearms Act 1968. Under section 5(1) (b), purchasing or acquiring this item is prohibited. If you carry pepper spray it will lead to a penalty and may lead to 10 years in jail. This weapon may not be lethal but can kill two or more people. According to a revised law, it will be checked whether the pepper spray was used for criminal or protection purposes. You cannot take this spray with you even for other purposes.

Who Is Allowed To Use A Pepper Spray?

It is not allowed to have or use pepper spray in the UK. However, the law enforcement agency has the right to use it against the crowd or to control a riot. Many times police use this to control the crowd via handled cans that can reach up to four meters. Pepper spray isn’t lethal but it can cause an intense and burning sensation all over the body.

It can put the victim into trouble and he/she may not be able to breathe properly. Similarly, police use Tasers that discharge a good amount of electric current. These Tasers are also classified as prohibited firearms. All citizens in the UK are prohibited to use or have pepper spray. However, it is considered a self-defense weapon in many other countries like Austria, Latvia, and Slovakia.

What Does The UK Government Have To Say?

The UK is popular for having one of the toughest laws regarding firearms. They are much more challenging to handle as compared to other countries in the world. According to a new statement from the Home office last year, Government doesn’t plan to make these sprays legal. The Government is trying hard to make the streets safer for women. However, pepper spray carries noxious substances that can be dangerous to others. They don’t play to allow such things that can harm the victim in any way.

Many people can use pepper spray for the wrong reasons and may cause injury to others. This is why the Government believes that such sprays should be prohibited for use. There is no doubt that possession of such firearms will only lead to a high level of violence. An individual may carry it for their protection but the user will not only restrict here. If such items are available to everyone, everywhere it will give rise to more criminal activities.

Is It Legal To Carry Any Weapons For Self Defence?

You cannot carry any weapons or firearm that is classified as offensive. Even if you carry a knife in a crowded area it is also considered a crime. If you use a knife, pepper spray, or anything in a threatening manner it can land you in jail. When the police catch someone with a deadly weapon they will be arrested without any second thoughts. It is no excuse to carry a weapon in the name of self-defense or protection.

Read More: Historic Analysis: When Did Britain Become a Superpower?

Are There Any Self Defence Products Available In The UK?

According to the police, women are allowed to have a self-defense product which is rape alarms. It is legal to use this alarm in case of an emergency. There are plenty of pepper and other sprays that are considered safe for self-defense. However, the police don’t allow its use as it can be lethal.

They may not know what type of spray is used and what can be the result of having them. Whatever you use should not cause injury to anyone else. You cannot assault others by using a spray that can become toxic for them. It doesn’t seem that the UK is going to change these rules anytime soon. More than 35,000 people have signed a petition to let people use pepper sprays for defense.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.