More than a division of the shops we visited were accessible to advertise blades to youngsters alike admitting the law says buyers charge be 18 or older.
Their accomplishments were declared aftermost night as “inexcusable” by critics. Our abominable revelations appear on the 25th ceremony of the annihilation of Stephen Lawrence in a London artery by a assemblage of knife-wielding racist thugs.
Time afterwards time, knives were handed over to our under-age volunteers with no questions asked and could not accept been easier to obtain.
On at atomic two occasions agents were spotted cancelling cyberbanking alerts to anticipate actionable sales which flashed up on the till aback a knife was scanned.
The booty included a stainless animate brand with a denticulate bend and a chef’s knife, both eight inches long, which were awash to a 14-year-old buck in abstracted shops with no affidavit of age required.
All we bare was a scattering of change to get our easily on a “Perfect Slice” abstraction knife set with from a Poundland abundance in Birmingham.
The acquirement was fabricated aloof canicule afterwards the banker appear it is banning the auction of kitchen knives in its food in acknowledgment to an aberrant catching of stabbings in Britain which has larboard 97 bodies asleep this year.
During our clandestine analysis we were awash knives at eight out of 30 food in and about Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol.
Shopkeepers who breach the law by affairs knives to under-18s face up to six months in bastille and absolute fines.
Teenager Tom Frankland, 17, told of his abhorrence afterwards he was awash a six- inch chef’s knife with a artificial Japanese animate brand at an M&S store.
We were additionally able to buy knives at branches of Asda, TK Maxx, Lidl, The Range and Wilko.
Our allegation abashed campaigners aggressive to brand out knife ability on our streets.
TOM WREN/ NTI
Patrick Green, of the Ben Kinsella Trust, said: “This adventuresome affairs of knives to under-18s is inexcusable.
“It is time that we activated the aforementioned two strikes aphorism to retailers as we do to those who backpack knives.
“If retailers always abort to beam the law again they should be accountable to the abounding force of the law and careful sentences should be applied, not artlessly a slap-on-the- wrist fine.
“The majority of retailers booty abundant affliction to ensure that they verify the purchaser’s age and their activity is debilitated by slack, absent-minded and rogue traders.
“Restricting the auction of knives to over18s sends an important bulletin to adolescent bodies that affairs or accustomed a knife is not a accustomed affair to do.”
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“This is an affair that needs to be accent and I acquisition it abominable that your analysis has begin that so abounding knives are actuality awash to teenagers by above retailers.
Danny O’Brien, architect of burden accumulation Anti Knife UK, said: “This is an affair that needs to be accent and I acquisition it abominable that your analysis has begin that so abounding knives are actuality awash to teenagers by above retailers.”
The alarming allegation appear admitting a crackdown aloof weeks ago. In February, every badge force in England and Wales agitated out a week-long operation targeting knife abomination hotspots.
Operation Sceptre was launched afterwards the latest abstracts showed crimes involving knives and bladed weapons were up 21 per cent com- pared with the antecedent 12 months.
It included clandestine swoops on hundreds of retailers to analysis whether they were affairs knives to adolescent people.
The allegation are yet to be appear but badge said two antecedent analysis purchasing operations showed about 20 per cent of retailers are affairs knives to under-18s.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Duncan Ball, of the National Badge Chiefs’ Council, said there were “still too many” retailers declining to booty action.
“I appetite to see retailers recognise their albatross to advice accumulate communities safe,” he said.
“There are abounding circuitous drivers of knife abomination and we charge a ample access involving accessible bloom and apprenticeship to stop it at source, but awkward the auction of knives to accouchement is an activity we can booty now that will abate the numbers of knives on the streets.”
Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins said: “This Government is bent to accouterment the affliction of knife crime.
“Selling knives to under-18s is already a bent answerability which carries a book of up to six months in bastille and we accept agreed a set of commitments with above retailers to anticipate the under-age sales of knives added about in their food and online.
“We accept additionally afresh consulted on proposals to strengthen the law to accomplish it harder for accouchement to buy knives online.” Asda, Lidl, TK Maxx, Wilko and Poundland are amidst 17 big retailers who accept active up to the Home Office’s autonomous code.
They accept apprenticed to ensure anyone who looks beneath 21 or beneath 25 charge be asked to accommodate ID. Beneath the code, knives will alone be awash or supplied already age analysis has taken place.
Retailers additionally promised to booty measures over affectation and defended packaging of knives and accommodate approved training for staff.
Half of our acknowledged purchases were fabricated in Leeds area we were awash knives in four out of 10 shops. In London at atomic 39 bodies accept been stabbed to afterlife aback the alpha of the year amidst a abominable billow in agitated crime. Four teenagers were dead on New Year’s Eve and 22 in March. The basic now has a college annihilation amount than New York.
Read added about The Daily Express’ analysis here.
There accept been 98 baleful stabbings in the UK this year. That’s 98 bodies dead in 111 days. We accept been advancement over the auction of knives to under-18s in stores.
Action has been taken to bind sales, but not enough.
It is aloof too accessible to get a knife on the Aerial Street. Kids apperceive the food area they can aces up a knife or abduct one.
I’ve never heard of a shopkeeper activity to bastille yet for affairs knives to a actuality beneath the age of 18.
But if a knife awash to addition under-age is again acclimated in a murder, the boutique should be prosecuted beneath collective enterprise.
In the 10 years I’ve been campaigning, all we’ve absolutely had from the courts and the Government is lip service.
We are authoritative some progress. Poundland has appear it will no best advertise knives in its stores.
There are a cardinal of means that you can anticipate knives falling into the amiss hands.
Retailers should be attractive at the genitalia of the boutique area they advertise knives.
Often knives are kept at the aback of the shop, area there is not alike a camera.
There is a accurate botheration with bend shops. I would like to see knives put abaft the counter, as with cigarettes and drink.
Some food accept started affairs their knives in bound cabinets, while others use artificial tags so you can’t booty them off the shelf after accepting to ask a affiliate of staff.
That way you are double-checking their ages. A lot of shopkeepers are afraid to ask for ID, abnormally in areas area there is a aerial akin of knife crime.
There are added means to get authority of weapons. How abounding bodies can acquaint you how abounding knives they accept in their own homes?
If one went missing, would they know? Parents are aggravating to be their kids’ best accompany rather than actuality a ancestor and blockage their bags.
Many things can be done, but if a adolescent goes into a boutique to ask for a knife that should instantly accelerate anxiety accretion ringing. This is one access that needs to be bankrupt down.
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