Retailers are joining the campaign to help make knife sales safer

9 March 2020

Retailers across Brent are helping to drive down knife attacks by signing up to a campaign that challenges suspected offenders.

The campaign relies on ‘responsible retailers’ and discourages criminals from either attempting to buy or steal knives from hardware stores before going on to use them as a weapon.

As part of the campaign retailers are urged to check the sale is legal by asking for identification to prove the purchaser is over 18 years-old.

The campaign, being run by Brent Trading Standards, also urges retailers to keep any stocked knives away from doorways as some are stolen before being used in crimes.

The Responsible Retailer Agreement is a partnership with London Trading Standards, The Greater London Authorities and the Metropolitan Police.

According to data, reported knife crime reached 15,000 across the whole of London by 2018/2019 which represents a 5,000 jump since 2015/2016.

An investigation using test purchase volunteers showed 160 London retailers illegally sold knives to under-agers some as young as 13.

Councillor Tom Miller, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, urged: “Retailers across Brent are really getting on board with this campaign and we applaud them for understanding their part in this problem.

 “We now need as many retailers as possible to sign up so that we can essentially save lives further down the line.

 “As part of the campaign, we’re asking retailers to check the identification of purchasers especially if they look under 18 years-old.

 “We’re asking them to also use their instincts and contact the authorities if they feel the individual could be attempting to buy the knife to commit a crime.

 “The bottom line is that if you’re not sure then do safely challenge by asking for identification and ultimately don’t sell the knife to them if you feel the sale isn’t safe."

 Retailers can learn more and sign up to the Responsible Retailer Agreement, which offers training, help and support, at: www.nbcc.police.uk/guidance/knife-retailers-toolkit

Retailers will receive posters stating that they are part of the scheme and warning would-be offenders that retailers will carry out id checks before a knife purchase. 

Photograph:

Responsible Retailer, Mr Mohammed Ardmal, director of A J Homeware Ltd, trading as Homeware in Cricklewood Broadway (left) with Councillor Tom Miller, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement