Government exploring tougher laws on crossbows

A call for evidence has been launched to examine whether current crossbow laws need to be strengthened, as the Government steps up action to prevent violence on the streets.

Feb 14, 2024
By Paul Jacques

Under current legislation, it is illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase or possess a crossbow, and anyone who carries a crossbow in public without reasonable excuse faces up to four years behind bars.

The eight-week call for evidence will look at whether tougher rules are needed. These could include a licensing scheme and police checks for anyone looking to purchase a crossbow.

This would mean that crossbows are policed under regulations similar to that of firearms.

Safeguarding Minister, Laura Farris said: “Crossbows are used rarely in violent crime in this country but they can be highly dangerous.

“We’re doing all we can to ensure we have the appropriate measures in place against any risks these potentially dangerous weapons may pose.

“I encourage the public and those in the industry to come forward to share their views so we can have the most accurate picture and take any necessary action to keep our streets safe.”

While crossbow incidents are rare – there were fewer than ten homicides by crossbow between 2011 and 2021 – she said it is clear that when used as a weapon, crossbows do pose a risk and the Government is determined to ensure any needed safeguards are in place to keep the public safe.

Wednesday’s announcement (February 14) comes after former Home Secretary, Priti Patel commissioned a review on controls following an incident at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day in 2021 in which a 19-year-old man was arrested on the grounds of the castle allegedly carrying the weapon. Following his arrest, Jaswant Singh Chail was sentenced to nine years in prison with a further five years on extended licence.

The Home Office said the eight-week exercise will allow it time to gather information which will then be considered as it assesses the need for further tightening of controls on weapons.

Related News

Select Vacancies

Chief of Police

Gibraltar Defence Police

Assistant Chief Constables

Scottish Police Authority

Constables on Promotion to Sergeant

Greater Manchester Police

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional