Five shops that sold knives to children during a police test purchase operation are now facing action for not complying with law.
Young mystery shoppers visited ten stores in the Nottingham city area on Tuesday (27 April) and 14 more in areas of the county on Wednesday as part of Operation Sceptre, a week-long operation dedicated to tackling knife crime.
While most shops visited refused to sell the weapons when they could not prove they were aged 18 or over, two shops in the city area and three in the county did not ask for ID and sold knives to the young person.
Nottinghamshire Police, which conducted the operation with the support of Trading Standards officials, said investigations are ongoing in relation to those who failed and these stores have been informed that follow-up action will be taken for not complying with legislation.
It is illegal to sell a knife or similar bladed article to a person under the age of 18,
The shops that complied with the law will each be sent a letter updating them on the operation and thanking them for supporting police efforts to tackle knife crime.
“Retailers play a crucial role in making sure our young people can’t get hold of knives which could then be used to cause harm,” Chief Inspector Kathryn Craner, knife crime lead for Nottinghamshire Police, said.
“I’m really pleased that 19 retailers refused to sell a knife to our volunteers but it’s disappointing that five shops failed to stop knives getting into the hands of children.
“We will work with those who failed the operation to prevent them from making illegal sales again.”
Paul Dales, chief environmental health officer at Nottingham City Council, added: “Joint operations like this with police colleagues are an important way for us to reinforce the message to retailers that they must be vigilant at all times about their responsibilities around age-related sales.
“There is a clear reason why certain items should not be sold to minors and we expect shop owners to ensure that both they and their staff have a clear understanding about checking identification whenever a customer appears underage. We will continue to work with retailers in Nottingham on this issue.”