Fake firearms, drugs and umbrellas among items seized in Liverpool courts

Liverpool Courts security seized thousands of items from visitors, including fake firearms, knives and protest materials.

On entering the Queen Elizabeth II Courthouse, which contains Liverpool’s Crown, Magistrates and Youth Courts, security staff will ask you to empty your pockets, show them the inside of your bag and then to pass through a metal detector. This is all happening to make sure everyone in court is safe.

Just like at an airport, there are a number of items that you are not allowed to bring into court. Obviously, guns, knives and hammers are not allowed in court. Although everyday items such as umbrellas, cutlery and motorcycle helmets may seem harmless, they could be used as weapons and are also prohibited.

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ECHO used the Freedom of Information Act to find out exactly what items had been seized from people trying to enter Liverpool courts over the past five years. Between January 2017 and December 2021, people attempted to smuggle nearly 14,000 restricted items into the city’s courts.

A total of 857 knives were taken from the entrance to the courts in Liverpool – four of which were over three inches long and are illegal to carry. Four replica firearms were also seized while drugs were found 10 times.

Security personnel also seized cutlery 369 times, motorcycle helmets 226 times and large umbrellas 4,208 times. Protest material has also been confiscated 11 times in Liverpool courts over the past five years.

People entering court with a drink will often be asked to take a sip in front of security staff to prove it is not harmful. Alcohol is another restricted item, which has been seized a total of 999 times in the courts of Liverpool.

A Department of Justice spokesman said: “All court users are searched upon entering prohibited items, including any item that could be used as a weapon, such as a penknife or glass object. Most confiscated items are everyday household items and not carried as a weapon or with intent to harm.

“We remove them to maintain a safe and secure environment free of items that could potentially be used as a weapon. Any illegal items are immediately reported to law enforcement.

“The confiscated knives with blades less than 3 inches are small blades such as penknives or keychains.”

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