Five Nottinghamshire stores illegally sold knives to children in police operation
Five shops sold knives to children during a police test purchase operation around Nottinghamshire, police have revealed.
A total of 24 stores were visited around the county last week, and of those, five sold knives to youngsters without checking ID, Nottinghamshire Police has revealed.
It is illegal in the UK to sell a knife or similar bladed article to a person under the age of 18.
Most shops visited stuck to the law and refused to sell the weapons when they could not prove they were aged 18 or over.
These shops will each be sent a letter updating them on the operation and thanking them for supporting Nottinghamshire Police's efforts to tackle knife crime.
However those shops which did not ask for ID and sold knives to the young person have been informed follow-up action will be taken for not complying with legislation.
Investigations are ongoing in relation to those who failed.
Nottinghamshire Police, supported by Trading Standards officials, conducted the test purchase operation as part of Operation Sceptre, a week-long operation dedicated to tackling knife crime.
Chief Inspector Kathryn Craner, knife crime lead for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “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.
“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.”
The force’s activity has included community weapons sweeps, patrols in knife crime hot-spot areas and proactive operations.
Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated and proactive knife crime and Operation Reacher teams have also be deployed in the city and county and specialist schools and early intervention officers have been continuing their work by engaging and working with children, encouraging young people to live positive knife-free lives.
CI Craner added: “Knife crime is not something the police can tackle on our own.
“We all need to work together to keep people safe, raise awareness of the dangers and devastating consequences of knife crime and make it clear that carrying knives on our streets will not be tolerated.”