Hailing the success of an undercover under-age knife sales operation, the Minister for London has announced that trading standards will extend test purchasing to online retailers.
In the largest operation of its kind, trading standards carried out 799 test purchases between 20 October and 10 November. A massive 148 (19%) of test purchases resulted in a sale. Test purchases were made at stores across London, using teenage volunteers, including police cadets. Of the sales, 32 per cent were from recognised high-street chain retailers. Knives sold to underage customers ranged from standard kitchen knives and blades through to a machete being sold to a 14 year old.
MPS Commander Mark Simmons commented: "We are pleased that retailers are becoming aware of the changes to legislation regarding the sale of knives and operations such as these will act as a reminder to those individuals who continue to flout the law that they will be caught and prosecuted.”
The online operation was announced at a press conference held on Tuesday 16th December and is expected to last for 3 months. London Trading Standards (LoTSA) will trawl internet sites that sell knives carrying out test purchases and monitoring and prosecuting those that unlawfully sell to under-18s. The purpose of the operation, the largest of its kind to date, is to reduce online access to knives for under-18s, while gathering evidence as to how easy or difficult it currently is for a young person to purchase a knife online.
The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 stipulates that is prohibited to sell knives to persons under the age of eighteen. To find out more about selling age restricted goods online, please visit: www.192business.com/agerestriction.
Age verification for online customers is simple to implement, cost effective and robust. To see how you can age verify your customers, and protect your reputation and profits, please request a trial today.
View the full Trading Standards release here: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/Content/Detail.asp? | ReleaseID=387731&NewsAreaID=2