Passengers flying from Gatwick Airport have been reminded to check their bags for prohibited items after knives have been found in hand luggage by security staff.

Gatwick staff have found a range of potentially dangerous items in passengers’ hand luggage, including small knives used in camping and outdoor activities.

Police have also reminded passengers that items legal in other countries, such as pepper spray and incapacitant sprays, are illegal to carry in the UK and could lead to a criminal conviction.


Chief Inspector Chris Veale said: “We continue to see 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.

“A thorough check before leaving home may prevent a police intervention at the start of a person's holiday.

“This is especially relevant where some bags may not have been used for air travel over winter months, or people are using the same bags they have 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.”

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Cyrus Dana, head of security at Gatwick, warned that, while it can be easy to forget about a prohibited item in luggage, “the consequences can be serious”.

He said: “It is important that all passengers take time to think and check for prohibited items before starting their journey."