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Lancashire
Sunday, June 16, 2024

One in three businesses in Lancashire fail test knife purchases

Trading Standards revealed that one in three Lancashire businesses failed their test purchases for knife sales.

Operation Sceptre, an operation focusing on knife crime, involved test purchasing last week – a method used by the police and trading standards officers to help prevent illegal underage sales.

In total, 13 volunteer young people aged between 13 years and 16 years took part, visiting 77 shops.

They attempted to buy knives and bladed articles in businesses in every district across Lancashire. A total of 24 knives were sold to the volunteers.

Like alcohol, tobacco and vapes, knives are an age-restricted product. The sale of a knife or bladed article to persons under the age of 18 years is a criminal offence, with both shop employees and business owners potentially facing a maximum six-month prison sentence, and businesses could face an unlimited fine in the magistrates’ court.

The young people were able to purchase a variety of knives, ranging from ‘Stanley’ knives to kitchen knives obtained from different types of shops including hardware and corner shops.

County Councillor Michael Green (pictured), who attended the operation, said: “I was appalled to see one in three businesses selling knives and bladed articles to teenagers aged 13 to 16.

“Our trading standards team will work with the businesses to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We don’t want to see businesses fail and trading standards will work with these businesses to get it right, every time in the future.

“We operate a ‘Check 25’ policy in Lancashire and all retailers should be checking the age of anyone appearing to be under the age of 25 when buying a knife.”

If anyone suspects that a shop may be breaking the law, they can report the business anonymously by phoning Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

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