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Redbridge Council secures extra funding to tackle underage sale of knives

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 September 2019

Kitchen knives for sale in a store in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Images

Kitchen knives for sale in a store in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Redbridge Council has secured an extra £20,000 of funding to help tackle the underage sale of knives in the borough.

A survey by London Trading Standards revealed that 37 out of 38 shopkeepers (97per cent) refused to sell knives to underage customers during test purchases across the borough last year.

A further 60 test purchases are being carried out this year after Redbridge secured a £20,000 government grant to support the work of the borough's trading standards team to tackle the underage sale of knives.

Councillor Bob Littlewood, cabinet member for crime, safety and community cohesion, said: "Knife crime is one of the biggest concerns in London and like many boroughs it is at the top of our agenda.

"Retailers play a big part in helping ensure knives don't get into the wrong hands.

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"We are proud that 37 out of 38 retailers in Redbridge, when tested, have applied the law so robustly regarding the sale of knives.

"We have been able to achieve this successful outcome through the borough's trading standards team working closely with retailers, ensuring enforcement and providing the information needed to prevent knife sales to children.

"However, we want to keep building on our success and make sure 100pc of our retailers abide by the law when selling knives in the borough and the Home Office grant will provide additional support and resources for our on-going work in this area."

The results of the test purchases carried out across London last year coincide with the recent launch of the Responsible Retailer Agreement (RRA) on knife sales.

Under the RRA, led by London Trading Standards in conjunction with deputy mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police, all London retailers selling knives will be invited to sign up to the new scheme, with an emphasis on attracting smaller independent businesses to help them comply with the law.

Councillor Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council and London Councils' executive member for crime and public protection, said: "Knife crime and youth violence represent a serious challenge to London.

"The government must now make sure London boroughs' trading standards teams have the resources we need to carry out checks on retailers and help enforce the law."

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