8 thoughts on “Now I Just Need Some Scissors…

  1. Well, next time you have to explain a “bootstrap problem”, you have the appropriate funny image to go on your slide deck… :-)

  2. Humour aside, I wouldn’t complain. Inconvenient as the bootstrap problem is, it is an offence to carry scissors in public without good reason, and the onus is on the defence to prove “good reason” (on the balance of probabilities). See CJA 1998, section 139, subsection 4. If it is in somewhat inconvenient packaging, it will make it that much easier for you to prove that you were just getting it home from the shop, rather than having it available for use as a weapon.

  3. Hi, just read your reply.

    I googled and found these sentencing guidelines, which do include an example case involving scissors (see R. v Qayum 2010), which resulted in 12 months (increased from 9 on appeal), consecutive with other offences. In that case, they were used with intent to threaten, and I suspect that what you are really asking about is an example where they weren’t. They don’t seem to give any examples of this, so I don’t know whether any exist, but they do explicitly include it in the guidelines (see “level 1”), with a starting point of high-level community order, which is still moderately serious.

    Given that, it seems entirely plausible that the CPS would prosecute someone carrying scissors in public for no good reason (even if with no particularly ill intent). I am prepared to believe that they would consider it in the public interest to refrain from prosecuting where someone offers a plausible good reason but which may be difficult to prove (even to the balance-of-probabilities standard required in reverse burden of proof cases). However, it would still seem prudent to ensure before carrying them that you have some kind of corroborating evidence of your good reason. If the good reason is to transport them to a private place without using them in public, I think that hard-to-remove packaging provides such evidence.

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