Airport Crackdown on Souvenir Weapons

Holidaymakers targeted in clampdown on ornamental knives

A joint operation to clampdown on air passengers bringing in knives and other weapons from their holidays has taken place at Cardiff Airport.

In addition to the routine searches that Border Force officers conduct every day on travellers landing at the airport, South Wales Police joined them as part of Operation Dactylis, to raise awareness among passengers that it is illegal to bring home offensive weapons from their holidays.

Milo, a search dog was also on hand for both days of the operation to detect any small traces of firearms residue or illegal drugs in luggage.

This activity came under the banner of Operation Sceptre – the national policing response to tackle knife crime. In South Wales Police, we have put in place a number of operational measures to address community concerns, and clamp down on those who are carrying and using knives.

Police Sergeant Kate Lerwill said: “Most holidaymakers do not realise that they are breaking the law by attempting to bring in ornamental weapons, or weapons of any kind, which they have bought while abroad. Many forms of ornamental weapons and replica items fall within the category of an offensive weapon, so we would urge people to avoid purchasing such items. 

“Ornamental swords, knuckledusters and butterfly knives are just a few examples of offensive weapons which holidaymakers have purchased abroad. These weapons are easily bought in countries such as Bulgaria and Cyprus, however, in the UK they are considered to be offensive weapons and potentially dangerous.

“We work closely with customs and airport security to ensure that offensive weapons don’t find their way on to the streets of the Vale of Glamorgan. This operation is not a one-off and we will take action against anyone attempting to bring in knives and other offensive weapons into our communities.”

Christopher Eastwood, Assistant Director Border Force, said: “It is Border Force’s job to prevent all forms of contraband, including offensive weapons, from being smuggled into the UK. Officers work tirelessly every day, using intelligence and advanced technology, to achieve that goal.”

If you have any concerns or information about someone carrying a knife then please call us on 101 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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