Just to illustrate from personal experience that British laws are a bit out of hand...I recently traveled to Greece, and had a short layover in Heathrow Airport in England. While there, I was detained, searched, and questioned by MP5 (machine gun) carrying officers because my keychain was considered a dangerous and illegal weapon by the British government. (Any of you familiar with a Kubaton keychain will immediately recognize the awesome power and obvious threat made by this heinous weapon of mass destruction....)
They confiscated the "weapon" to be destroyed (that's one less keychain to menace the world and frighten children), and I narrowly made my connecting flight only due to my incomparable charms in convincing an airline attendant to hold the plane until I could get there (...read here, in actuality, God's grace).
The one thing I will have to say, however, is that the officers were eminently polite as they treated me as a potential dangerous threat to Queen, country, and the general peace. It was rather like having someone say at gun point, "Excuse me, I know this is an imposition, and I must insist, but would you mind terribly much bending over...."
Edgar Suter, MD
Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2000;5(6);185-187. Copyright©2000 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).