Big renowned retailers have unlawfully sold knives to children during test purchases conducted by National Trading Standards. Tesco, Asda, Poundland, and Home Bargains, to name a few have sold knife-edges to children under the age of 18 years at least 15 times each during tests between April 2018 and March 2019.
Tesco and Asda have updated their checks and further restricted sales. Poundland retail had stopped selling kitchen knives last year. Trading Standards agency had sent “mystery shoppers” who were below the age of 18 to carry out the test purchases.
Retail shops staff failed to prevent the sale of a knife to a child 344 times, equal to 15% of the 2,231 tests carried out by Trading Standards at a national chain and independent shops. 15% is a big number which should be taken care of.
The problems which should be taken care of is that knives and alcohol are been sold to children, it is not legal to sell knives to those under 18. Only if it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less.
The crime rate has increased, there were 285 killings by a knife or a sharp instrument in the past 12 months.
Many shops are working to keep the knives away from children but tests show that it’s still too easy for a child to buy a knife. Separately, 100 online test purchases were carried out, children were sold a knife on 41 occasions.
Under the new Offensive Weapons Act, the age restriction to buy knife is 18 years. The law is currently under public consultation before the new laws come into force. Some online retailers refuse to deliver knives without checking the person’s ID.
The staff is asked to check a customer’s proof of age to ensure they are over 18 when buying a restricted item.
There is a new two-stage age verification process and the knives have been removed from display on the shop floor.