Denbighshire County Council and North Wales Police have issued the results of underage knife sales test in the county
The checks were carried out as part of Operation Sceptre, a national campaign taking place twice a year targeting knife crime and involves both education and enforcement activity with the aim of removing unwanted knives off the streets.
As part of a joint working initiative Officers of Denbighshire Trading Standards and North Wales Police have teamed up to carry out an exercise looking at the effectiveness of retail sales to young people.
On Saturday 21st September 2019, a volunteer Police Cadet aged 15 attempted to purchase a knife at a number of local retailers. The legal age for the sale of knives is 18. The volunteer attempted purchases in 13 premises within Denbighshire.
Eight of those premises refused the sale, either asking the volunteer their age or for identification, and four of the premises did not have any stock of knives. However, one retailer did sell to the volunteer and this matter is currently being investigated.
Councillor Mark Young, Denbighshire Council’s Lead member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities said: “It is important to recognise the dangers surrounding the mis-use of knives and the dangers presented when these products are in the wrong hands. Whilst it is recognised that a child can access knives from other places, such as at home, this operation highlights that there is a need for staff working within store to be vigilant when making sales. There are restrictions on the age of sale for knives for a reason- any child carrying a knife is at a greater risk of harm.
"As a result of this exercise Denbighshire Trading Standards will be looking at doing more follow up work by means of advice and education to knife retailers over the coming months.
"If you are aware of any premises selling age restricted products to underage persons please report this to Trading Standards on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01824 706057 – this is an automated service and reports can be made anonymously."
Temporary Detective Inspector Tecwyn Green said: “Knives are dangerous and there is no place for them on the streets of North Wales. Using a knife can have devastating consequences, and I hope that by constantly stressing the dangers of knife crime we are getting the message across, particularly to our young people. I would urge people to continue to educate themselves, speak to their children and family members so that tragedies can be prevented.
“We are grateful for the support of the community and our partners with this campaign and together, we will continue to work towards removing knives and dangerous weapons and bring those responsible, for carrying and using them, to justice.”
* North Wales Police say they will act on all information reported regarding knife crime. Anyone with information can call North Wales Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111