THERE has been an increase in banned items being found in passengers’ bags at Gatwick Airport, including knives, pepper spray and knuckle dusters.
Police are urging people to ensure items they are bringing to the UK are legal to have before coming to the airport.
Items found in recent months include small multi-tools with a locking blade, small knives used in camping, pepper spray and a knuckle duster.
Sussex Police warn that being found with these items could lead to a criminal conviction and the items being confiscated or destroyed.
Chief Inspector Chris Veale said: “We are regularly seeing passengers in possession of items that could constitute an offence in the UK.
“All passengers using Gatwick Airport are reminded of the need to check their bags and cases for any items that may be prohibited.
“This is especially relevant where some bags may not have used for air travel since before the pandemic, or people are using bags used at work, where such items may be required for their occupation.
“UK legislation is very clear that the public should not be in possession of items classified as offensive weapons and bladed articles, in particular any item that has a locking blade of any description, this includes multi-tools and knives used for camping or outdoor activities.
“Travelling passengers from overseas should ensure that any items that may be legal elsewhere in the world, such as pepper or incapacitant sprays, are not brought to the airport for return travel.
"Possession of these items will constitute an offence and may result in a criminal conviction as well as confiscation and destruction of the item.
“If people are uncertain about what can and cannot be taken through the airport they can contact their airline when booking and checking in or check the airport website.”
A man was arrested on March 30 after attempting to smuggle a knuckle duster through airport security.
Police stopped a man who was threatening to “cause a massacre” while carrying a kitchen knife in each hand in June 2019.