ONE in five Warwickshire retailers failed to ask for proof of age when selling knives to young people, Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service discovered following an undercover operation.
Trading Standards Officers visited 54 shops in Stratford, Warwick, Leamington, Atherstone, Rugby, Nuneaton and Bedworth. Trading Standards teenage apprentices were able to buy steak knives, kitchen knives and Stanley knives without being challenged about their age.
Best practice is for businesses to routinely ask for age identification before selling any age restricted product to anyone who appears to be under the age of 25 (Challenge 25).
All retailers were provided with advice on preventing the sale of knives to children.
Officers then returned to the premises that had sold knives, with volunteers aged under 18. The under aged volunteers were able to buy knives at three of the premises, a criminal offence. These shops were located in Nuneaton, Bedworth and Warwick.
Retailers who sell knives to children could face prosecution – potentially facing up to six months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine.