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bluedelta

Multi-tool on belt against policy?

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bluedelta

So I recently got a leatherman multi-tool after a few recommendations. It has a locking blade and your standard other tools - it's great. I was planning to keep it on my duty belt in a leather pouch with a button fastener, just as I would my other kit (we don't keep kit on stab vests besides airwaves and maybe keys).

However after speaking with one of our special sergeants, they advised me not to keep it on the duty belt as you should only have force issued kit on it. But instead to keep it inside one of the pockets on stab vest.

Now I get the rationale of it being less accessible to someone who might want to stab me with it, but surely that still goes against the 'you can only have force issued kit' argument? They then went on to recommend a third party key holder from a supplies website to someone else, so I'm kind of confused.

I haven't seeked clarification from any higher rank yet, I just wondered what the general consensus across different forces was? It's not a big deal if I have to keep it in a pocket, or can't carry it at all. Just thought it would be useful out and about.

Thanks

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Growley

I don't think you really have to worry about it being accessible to anyone in a fight. A multi tool isn't a particularly effective quick-draw weapon from another person's belt. Especially if you're not well acquainted with how that particular model works.

Ideally you wouldn't use kit that wasn't job issued, because ideally the job would issue you with everything you need. Instead however, the job expects you to buy a number of things depending on which force you work in. Mine requires officers to buy their own boots and torches for example.

Personally, I carry a multi tool much like you describe on my belt. I'm happy to justify it if questions are ever raised, but it has been there years now and nobody ever has. Funnily enough it has never been taken off me in a fight either.

Edited by Growley
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Shmook

As Growley said, I also carry one on my belt. Loads of our cops do too. I've never been told to move it or not carry it, and also never lost it in a fight, or heard of any other cop who has.

Being advised not to carry it is different to being ordered not to. have a look around, see if your reg colleagues carry one. if so, crack on. If not then double check force policy, or ask a reg sgt if it's OK and if so document his or her permission in your PNB :)

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Funkywingnut

I bet you wear underpants, but they don't issue them.  

Shouldnt have a multi tool on your belt as someone could use it against you argument, what twaddle, same old urban myths. Never heard of it done, but have heard of plenty of lives saved, police cars fixed and odd jobs done by cops carrying multi tools 

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grumeister

i have a multi took on my belt and i have never had issues. just like i have a non issued belt clip that has my non issued cuff key on.

some people get hung up on "it's not force issued" however i very much doubt your force will notice let alone raise issues over it.


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Remmy

I wonder if this Sgt can show you the policy, or as I suspect they can't as there is no such policy.

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bluedelta

Thanks all for the replies. Pretty much the response I expected, you seem to lose any aspect of common sense in training with all the references to PSD!

It doesn't help with everyone on intake just regurgitating what they hear and scaremongering everyone like 'oh no you can't do this or that you'll lose your job'. That's the reason I went to a sergeant and was surprised at the conflicting response.

We have to buy our own boots yes, torches are issued but I tested it in my garden and immediately brought a new one. I can think of plenty of uses for a multi-tool and thanks for the tip about getting it signed in PNB, will get it done.

Just to clarify the law even though it is obvious it is legal. You are allowed to carry a blade over 3 inches, or any fixed/locking blade if it is for your job correct? So a police officer can easily justify the reason for carrying such a tool on duty.


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Funkywingnut
16 minutes ago, bluedelta said:

Thanks all for the replies. Pretty much the response I expected, you seem to lose any aspect of common sense in training with all the references to PSD!

It doesn't help with everyone on intake just regurgitating what they hear and scaremongering everyone like 'oh no you can't do this or that you'll lose your job'. That's the reason I went to a sergeant and was surprised at the conflicting response.

We have to buy our own boots yes, torches are issued but I tested it in my garden and immediately brought a new one. I can think of plenty of uses for a multi-tool and thanks for the tip about getting it signed in PNB, will get it done.

Just to clarify the law even though it is obvious it is legal. You are allowed to carry a blade over 3 inches, or any fixed/locking blade if it is for your job correct? So a police officer can easily justify the reason for carrying such a tool on duty.


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Anyone can carry a locking blade or fixed blade over 3 1/2 inches if you can prove you have lawful authority or reasonable excuse.  As police officers you cannot just carte blanche have exemption to carry a blade.

Do you believe you have a reasonable excuse to carry a multi tool? I would suggest you do. 

Do you have reasonable excuse to carry a 6 inch Bowie knife, probably a difficult sell to a jury.  

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Sceptre
34 minutes ago, funkywingnut said:

Anyone can carry a locking blade or fixed blade over 3 1/2 inches if you can prove you have lawful authority or reasonable excuse.  As police officers you cannot just carte blanche have exemption to carry a blade.

There is a carte blanche exemption if you like for any pointed or bladed article carried for use at work, police officer or roofer or whatever it is you do:

Quote

(4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in a public place.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had the article with him—

(a) for use at work;

(b) for religious reasons; or

(c) as part of any national costume.

Frankly, when I started carrying a multitool I didn't bother asking anyone firstly because lots of other people did it and secondly because it's easier to just do it and plead ignorance and good intent if someone took issue with it. Not that anyone ever has.

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andi

You don't need to show you have a lawful excuse, just that you have it for work.

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SimonT

We aren't supposed to have a belt one.  We have it as policy. . Of course lots of people do,  because it's a stupid policy.  

I carry mine in my trousers pocket and it works fine.  It means I have it on the way to and back from work- where I might need to respond at any moment.  

If you turn up at a hanging and don't have a blade,  you are in a very unfortunate creek for no good reason.  

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Funkywingnut
1 hour ago, Sceptre said:

There is a carte blanche exemption if you like for any pointed or bladed article carried for use at work, police officer or roofer or whatever it is you do:

Frankly, when I started carrying a multitool I didn't bother asking anyone firstly because lots of other people did it and secondly because it's easier to just do it and plead ignorance and good intent if someone took issue with it. Not that anyone ever has.

Fair point well made, makes my answer look lazy now. (Which it was really)  :)

Edited by funkywingnut

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MajorDisaster

I bought a slightly larger belt pouch that had a side flap pocket on - my leatherman Core fits inside perfectly.  The only time I've  used it was to repair a lock we had put in on a S17.

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Richhamdo
2 hours ago, SimonT said:

We aren't supposed to have a belt one.  We have it as policy. . Of course lots of people do,  because it's a stupid policy.  

I carry mine in my trousers pocket and it works fine.  It means I have it on the way to and back from work- where I might need to respond at any moment.  

If you turn up at a hanging and don't have a blade,  you are in a very unfortunate creek for no good reason.  

Simon T,Re the last sentence of your post, it  reminded me of an incident about thirty years ago give or take. I have told this story before in another place but briefly and being as delicate as I can, someone had gone missing in a large wood or forrest , we had quite a few members of the public and a lot of bobbies spread out evenly between them in a long line searching for him . Another special and myself were in the wrong place because a member of the public just down the line from us came across this chap who had passed away some time previously  and came to tell us. I didn't have and have never had a knife and neither did my partner and it's maybe just as well as it turned out. All I had been told in training was that we had not got to interfere with the knot.  I got the impression that they thought it would be unlikely we would come across such like.

A  regular a bit further up or down the line did have a knife and cut this poor chap down. Scenes of crime turned up eventually,and went ballistic about this chap being cut down/tramping about the scene etc  before  a photo had been taken. I think people may be able to see where I am going with this. Obviously in those days no one had a camera on their phone., (or even a phone probably)I think the brick ones were just coming in.Coms were nothing to write home about in some places either. .  Our big division only had two pack sets, (mobile force radio with a big battery and shoulder strap ). If you wanted one for a race meeting or whatever it had to be booked well in advance..Anyhow,   It so happens that a friend of mine  has one of those multi tool things, he has it in his huge big black bag that he  carries  his helmet, big coat, gloves etc and sandwiches in. Or that's where he used to keep it. Rich.

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Prae

Whilst I agree that not being able to carry a multi tool on your belt is a silly policy, going against force policy should be done knowing the full consequences of what can happen.

If your force has a written direction saying that you mustn't carry anything that isn't issued and you do, you open yourself up to being disciplined accordingly. This could quite easily mean as an SC your services will be dispensed with. You may go 30 years without a supervisor challenging you or anything bad happening but you shouldn't take that as it's alright. It clearly isn't because you're going against a written direction and you could find that one pesky supervisor that will make an example of you.

If you accept all that and aren't bothered, feel free to continue.

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