Redbridge knife retailers join crackdown on underage knife sales

Published: 17 January 2020

Retailers in the borough have been pledging their support for a pan-London initiative to stop illegal, underage knife sales.

Redbridge Trading Standards, in conjunction with the police, have already signed-up 16 stores to the London Responsible Retailers Agreement, with others being urged to follow suit.

The initiative follows on from a series of successful test purchases carried out by the trading standards team which showed 97% of traders that were tested in the borough refused to sell a knife to a customer without proof of age – one of the most successful rates across London.

Under the RRA, which is being rolled out across the Capital with a focus on smaller, independent stores, retailers pledge to:

  • understand the basic requirements for the safe storage of knives
  • follow the ASSESS-CHALLENGE-CHECK process for selling age-restricted goods
  • know when and how to contact police with suspicions of knife crime or where staff feel threatened by customers

The initiative was developed jointly by London Trading Standards (LTS), the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) to help restrict access to knives for under 18s.

Leader of the Council Cllr Jas Athwal said: “We’re determined to do all we can to tackle the blight of knife crime and youth violence, which is a serious challenge right across our city.

“This is a great example of how our local businesses are acting responsibly and how they clearly care about the community they serve.

“The Responsible Retailers Agreement is an important step forward in restricting access to these dangerous weapons for under 18s, and I urge all our local knife retailers to sign up to it.

“Our Trading Standards team have been involved in a range of great work to tackle illegal, underage knife sales including test purchases and I’m proud that 97% of the retailers tested in the borough have applied the law so robustly regarding the sale of knives.” 

Chopra & Sons Ltd on Ilford Lane is one of the 16 retailers who have already signed-up to the RRA.

Store Manager, Gulinder Singh Chopra added: “We’re really pleased to be part of this initiative as it’s a great way for shops like ours to show their commitment to helping tackling knife crime and stopping the underage sale of knives. We all have a responsibility to help get knives off the street and out of the hands of youngsters.”

For more information, or to sign your business up to the RRA please call 020 8708 7086 or email Trading.Standards@redbridge.gov.uk

The responsible retailer agreement is accompanied by a good practice guide and a set of online retailer training animations (https://www.nbcc.police.uk/KnifeGuidance)

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