LONDON, United Kingdom
Authorities have revealed that some London shops are selling knives, alcohol and tobacco are to children as young as 13.
Child volunteers aged 12 to 17 performed 2,593 test purchases across the capital over 18 months – and they were allowed to walk away with the items on 285 occasions.
According to London Trading Standards, it is illegal to sell these products to anyone under the age of 18.
The spot checks were carried out by 26 local authorities. In total, 14% of sales were of knives and 12% were of alcohol.
Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Sean Yates expressed concern about this sale because Knife crime devastates families and communities.
“Tackling knife and gang crime is one of the Met’s top priorities, and we are working closely with Trading Standards, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and retailers to do everything we can to prevent young people getting hold of knives in the first place.” He said “We are also targeting those who carry weapons and cracking down on online videos that glamorise and encourage this terrible violence.
Yates cautioned the public to be part in ending the deeply concerning rise in knife crime that has surged across the capital and to also spread the message that carrying a knife is more likely to ruin life than save it.
London Trading Standards is urging businesses to continue signing up to Responsible Retailer Schemes and urged for anyone with information about illegal sales to get in touch.
“We are disappointed that a 13-year-old has been allowed to buy a knife in a London shop but we note the relatively high levels of compliance among the majority of retailers.” said an official from the London Trading Standards
The findings come as the capital has seen a rise in street violence, with the number of knife crimes rising.