Fifteen percent of shops failed to ask for age identification when minors under the age of 18 tried to buy knives.
Officers from Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated Knife Crime Team led the test purchase operation, in which young people were sent to try to buy knives from 26 shops across Nottinghamshire on Wednesday, February 21.
Four shops failed to ask for ID and sold items including a carving knife and a three and five-piece knife set. Consideration is now being given to prosecuting the shops that failed for a second time. Those that failed for the first time will be visited by the Knife Crime Team over the coming days with a view to educating them on the law and their responsibilities as shopkeepers.
Detective Superintendent Simon Firth, Nottinghamshire Police’s Knife Crime Strategy Manager, said the latest operation showed an improvement on the last test purchase operation in the summer, when five out of 19 shops failed the test.
“I would like to think this is a positive sign that the message is getting through to shop owners that they have a big responsibility in preventing knife crime, by stopping knives getting into the hands of children.
“The Police often have to deal with the aftermath of knife crime but everyone in society, including shop keepers has a role to play in preventing it happening.”
Eighty-five per cent, or 22 of the shops passed the test - by asking for proof of age ID when they went to the counter to buy a knife, which is a legal requirement.
The shops that passed will be sent letters thanking them for their responsible attitude and their support in preventing knife crime.