William Wallace weeps
I guess they don't cook in Scotland -- or maybe they are just allowed a blunt dinner knife to gum their vegetables and meat into submission. What would William Wallace think?
HISTORICAL re-enactments and essential elements of Scottish ancestry could be ruined under ministerial proposals to clamp down on knife crime, according to historians.
Museums and swordsmiths have warned that Scottish Executive proposals to increase the legal age for buying a knife to 18 and to criminalise the carrying of a knife or sword are impractical and will be detrimental to the remembrance of historical events.
The executive consultation proposes that the sentence for carrying a knife should be doubled and that police should be able to arrest a person they suspect is carrying a knife.
However local authorities, including North and South Lanarkshire, criticised the proposals as being impractical to enforce and unlikely to have any impact on Scotland's high level of knife crime.
The International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History has written to the executive with concerns about the potential criminalisation of its staff and how it ought to "sustain the live costumed re-enactment in, by and for museums that so increases public interest in the past".
Guy Wilson, its chairman, wrote: "There are
legitimate reasons for private individuals to own and use swords, daggers, and knives, and your proposals should recognise these.
"They include sport, study, collection, re-enactment, DIY, fishing, and gardening.
"There is also the legitimate trade in antiques to be taken into consideration and protected. The judgments, allowances, and exemptions that you may introduce will need to ensure that errors of judgment on all sides are rare to prevent the innocent and law-abiding being charged with serious offences."
Currently, the carrying of a knife or sword is allowed if the person can show they have a legitimate reason. Further details on the proposed legislation will be released by the executive today.