Halloween ‘dagger’ sparks anti-knife protest
PUBLISHED: 18:07 20 October 2010
A CUT-PRICE store has been asked to take a plastic “bleeding dagger” off the shelves following concerns from anti-knife campaigners.
The 12-inch plastic toy, which has red fluid moving around its blade, is on sale in the Halloween section at the 99p Stores shop in The Mall Ilford.
Ilford police said there was no legislation concerning such toys, but Redbridge trading standards said: “We can only remove the item if trading standards contraventions are found.
“We will be speaking to the seller to ask for voluntary removal of this item.”
Store manager Dalmar Elmi denied receiving any complaints, but our straw poll of shoppers in Ilford Town Centre drew an overwhelming response against the sale of the toy.
Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch Association chairman Wilson Chowdhry said the sale of the dagger was irresponsible, in poor taste and desensitised children to violence.
Mr Chowdhry said: “This is really unhelpful in the continuing battle against knife crime in the borough and the 99p shop seems to be countering all of our efforts.”
Earlier this month, the Brixton branch of 99p Stores took the same product off the shelves following concerns from residents and the backing of Dulwich and West Norwood MP Tessa Jowell.
Danny O’Brien, founder of Anti Knife UK, said the sale of the toy could be upsetting for victims of knife crime.
“It’s extremely insensitive to the families blighted by knife crime and it will bring back unhappy memories,” he said.
“They are very realistic looking, can you imagine if an old age pensioner opens the door and discovers one of these pointing at them? It will scare the life out of them.”
Despite efforts from the Recorder, a spokesman for the 99p Stores was unable to provide a comment.
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