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Operation to tackle under age sale of knives in Southend

Operation to tackle under age sale of knives in Southend
An operation to tackle knife crime in Southend has resulted in three businesses being identified for further training.

An underage test purchaser visited 10 shops in Southend High Street yesterday, Tuesday, February 19, and managed to buy knives from three of them.

Two of the knives they manage to buy are pictured.

The operation was led by Southend Community Policing Team with support from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Trading Standards.

Inspector Ian Hughes, of Southend’s CPT, said: “In three separate circumstances an underage customer was allowed to purchase a potentially deadly weapon.

“Our operation was put in place to make sure the business community is doing its part in keeping our community safe.

“Seven businesses challenged the young customer and that is positive while the other three will be required to tighten up their operations with further training and awareness.

“It’s vital that staff challenge young people purchasing knives, even if they look old enough. If they don’t have their identification then they should be turned away until they are able to prove their age.

"If there are any concerns about what the knife is going to be used for, they should be refused the sale irrespective of the persons age.

“I would like to thank Southend Council for its support yesterday in helping to combat knife crime.”

Councillor Mark Flewitt, Cabinet Member for Public Protection said: “Following the recent joint operation with Essex Police, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is urging local businesses not to sell knives to anyone under the age of 18 years old.

“We would like to remind all businesses of their obligations as responsible traders to ensure all staff are trained and appreciate the importance of ensuring knives are not sold to those who are under age”.

“Our trading standards officers work very closely with the police and were there with them on this particular knife-buying test. Although it is Essex Police who enforce the UK Knives Act in our borough, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them on this issue.

“It is a reminder to all businesses in our borough that we are actively monitoring the situation with the police and we treat the selling of knives to under 18s with the utmost seriousness.”

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