Merton takes a stand against illegal knife sales

Merton Council’s trading standards officers have called for retailers to be more vigilant in the fight against knife crime.

Following on from the recent fatal stabbing in the borough, officers carried out a series of covert visits to shops with a 15-year old child and attempted to buy knives. Over a two-day period 14 attempts were made to purchase knives and whilst 12 retailers refused to sell, two shops still sold to the 15 year old.

Since April there have been 32 attempted test purchases of knives in the borough and 6 sales to young people. Some retailers made sales without even looking at the child and others didn’t bother to ask the child’s age or for ID.

Trading standards have offered repeated advice and support to retailers on the law and practical advice on precautions that can be taken to avoid illegal sales. They have also issued a number of cautions and have prosecuted offending retailers in their attempt to stamp out the sale of knives to young people.

Councillor Andrew Judge, Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration said:

“Our trading standards team work in partnership with local retailers to ensure that knives and other goods are not sold to anyone under the legal age.

“Most retailers take on board the advice and support provided to them and are responsible in recognising their role in the local community. Regrettably some are not and so we hope the work the team is doing and the actions we are taking to prosecute will send a warning to those willing to allow dangerous goods such as knives to get into the wrong hands.”