Brighton and Hove shops respond well to underage knife sale checks
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Officers in Brighton and Hove cracking down on the sale of knives to underage teenagers have seen a positive response from the city’s retailers.
As part of Operation Safety – Sussex Police’s enforcement and education initiative around knife crime – officers used 16-year-old volunteers to try and buy knives from shops to test their identification procedures.
Alongside Brighton and Hove Trading Standards, officers visited seven shops on January 2 and only one served the underage volunteer.
A community resolution was given and the individual has since faced suitable disciplinary action from the company involved.
On Wednesday, February 16, officers once again visited stores in Brighton and Hove with two 16-year-old volunteers.
Of the nine stores tested, eight had previously failed and one had never been checked before.
All nine passed, by correctly following identification procedures and refusing to sell to the buyer.
PC Kate Hancox, of Brighton and Hove’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The results of these latest Op Safety checks are extremely satisfying and, with all of the stores successfully passing the tests, the message is clearly getting across that the sale of knives to underage people will not be tolerated.
“Selling bladed articles to children fuels violence, poses a serious risk of harm to the public and also to the vendors themselves, who will be prosecuted for repeated failures and could lose their livelihoods.
“It is illegal to sell bladed articles to anybody under 18 and, under the Challenge 25 policy, anybody who looks under 25 must be asked to produce proof of age.
“Through Op Safety, we will continue to work with our partners in the community to educate on the dangers around knives and take enforcement action where necessary.”