Over a quarter of retailers visited by Avon and Somerset Police in a knife test purchase operation have failed, selling a knife to an underage volunteer or not asking for ID.
The force wide activity that started on 13 November as part of Operation Sceptre – a national week of action with the aim of reducing the number of people carrying knives – has seen 82 shops, from large supermarket chains to smaller outdoor shops, being tested, in the biggest test purchase operation Avon and Somerset Police has ever carried out.
The 21 retailers who failed the test will now get a visit from the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams and a warning notice. They will also be given an advice pack which outlines the law, which states it is illegal to sell knives and other bladed articles to anyone under the age of 18, and how they can adhere to it.
“We know we cannot enforce our way out of knife crime and we hear loud and clear our communities’ concerns, which is why we are strengthening our multiagency and diversionary pathways which seek to address the causes as well as the devastating symptoms of youth violence,” said Chief Inspector James Turner, Avon and Somerset Police’s force lead for knife crime.