More retailers across Wirral and Merseyside have today signed up to an agreement with the Government that prevents the sale of knives to the underage.
The move has been welcomed by Councillor Chris Blakeley (Conservative, Moreton West & Saughall Massie).
It means that local branches of Boots, the Co-op, B&Q and Aldi will, from now on, verify the ages of youngsters buying knives, as well as staff training and ensuring knives are packaged and displayed securely.
Councillor Chris Blakeley said: “Together with more police action on knives, this commitment by more retailers means fewer knives will be on our streets. Too often, however, the knife has come from the home and so we also need parents to vigilant. There is no reason why any young person should be carrying a knife while out and about in the community.”
Earlier signatories to the agreement in March include Tesco, Lidl UK, Wilko, Argos, Morrisons, Asda, Poundland, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Amazon UK and Ebay UK.
Andrew Pope, Head of Risk, the Co-op, said: “We are committed to supporting efforts to tackle knife crime and would urge all retailers to implement restrictions to prevent the sale of knives to children. These measures, such as proof of age at point of purchase and the safe and secure packaging of such products, can all help to make local communities safer.”
Previous action to reduce knife crime has seen harsher penalties – the maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and an unlimited fine and an automatic prison sentence will be imposed on anyone convicted of carrying a knife more than once – and a ban on the most lethal knives and weapons such as butterfly knives (a blade hidden inside a handle that splits in the middle); flick knives (a blade hidden inside a handle which shoots out when a button is pressed) and ‘zombie’ knives (a knife with a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words suggesting it is used for violence).
Across Merseyside, the latest figures show 672 recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument.
Nationally, around one in five knife crimes are committed by juveniles, with more 10 to 15 year olds also reporting that they know someone who carries a knife.
Anyone who knows someone is regularly carrying a knife is asked to contact Merseyside Police or, anonymously, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111
· Sale of knives: voluntary agreement by retailers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sale-of-knives-voluntary-agreement-by-retailers
· The law on selling, buying and carrying knives: https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives
· ONS Annual Compendium on Violent Crime (appendix 3.17): https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/compendium/focusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffences/yearendingmarch2015/bulletintablesfocusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffencesyearendingmarch2015/02appendixtablesviolentcrimeandsexualoffences201415tcm77432777.xls