Bring weapons even as keepsakes, and find yourself with criminal record

UKBA warns tourists, holidaymakers 16th November 2010: Foreigners coming to the UK, forget all about brining weapons along, even if you think these are nothing more than souvenirs.
For the UK Border Agency has issued a stern warning to the tourists against carrying such items. Ignore the advice, and find yourself with a criminal record, the UKBA has asserted.

The warning came after officers at Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster seized a record number of potentially lethal weapons over the summer, in a crackdown to prevent illegal weapons reaching our streets from abroad.

Police Sergeant Stuart Price from South Yorkshire Police, whose team worked alongside UK Border Agency officers, said: ‘British law is very clear – it is an offence to bring these items into the UK. I would like to remind holidaymakers not to consider bringing such items back even as souvenirs. If you decide to ignore this advice, you may well find yourself with a criminal record.

‘Please be assured that South Yorkshire Police and UK Border Agency will continue to work together throughout 2011 on this serious issue.’

The weapons included throwing stars, CS-gas canisters, machetes, stun guns, samurai swords, knives, imitation firearms and batons. They were all seized from passengers as they arrived in the UK from seven European destinations, ranging from Bourgas in Bulgaria to Prague in the Czech Republic.

Over 100 weapons were seized in total – the biggest total at the airport since it opened to commercial passengers in 2005. Last year, the UK Border Agency seized 3,400 illegal weapons from ports and airports in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Andy Lumb, assistant director for the UK Border Agency in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: ‘These were no holiday trinkets or souvenirs. All of these weapons could have caused serious injury or even death. It is an offence to attempt to smuggle weapons of this nature into the UK, and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

‘The UK Border Agency is responsible for immigration and customs controls at the border, and we treat any attempt to smuggle offensive weapons and firearms very seriously. Our officers play a crucial role in preventing items like these, as well as people who have no right to be here, from entering the UK.

‘Let this crackdown be a warning to those who are considering smuggling offensive weapons into the country – the UK Border Agency will seize your weapons and prosecute you.’

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