Posted on: 18 April 2019
Issued on behalf of the Exeter Community Safety Partnership, Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service and Devon and Cornwall Police.
Shops and retailers in Exeter were visited by police and trading standards officers last month as part of Operation Sceptre, a national week of action against knife crime.
On Saturday 16 March, and in partnership with the Exeter Community Safety Partnership, officers from Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service assisted Devon and Cornwall Police in an initiative aimed at preventing the sale of knives to under 18s.
Young volunteers were involved in test purchase exercises to test if stores would sell items including knives, knife blades and bladed items to those under the legal age. Stores were also tested to see whether they asked for proof of age.
In total fifteen premises were visited and only one shop sold a bladed item to an underage volunteer. This shop was given advice by the police on the day.
Inspector Simon Arliss of Devon and Cornwall Police said: “The national picture shows an increase in the carriage of knives by young people.
“The Exeter Community Safety Partnership was keen to understand how well every partner is playing its part to reduce this risk in our part of the country where the issue isn’t nearly so serious as it is in other more urban and metropolitan areas.
“It is against the law to sell knives to anyone under the age of 18 and ID should always be sought if the seller is unsure.
“It is very encouraging to see how robust Exeter retailers are, in this regard.”
Dolores Riordan, Operations Manager at Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service, said: “The results of the exercise were encouraging. It shows that the majority of retailers in Exeter have a high level of awareness of the issues and take their responsibilities as retailers and members of the community very seriously.
“Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service is happy to work with partners through Community Safety Partnerships to assist the police in initiatives such as this and ensure compliance to knife legislation in respect of under-age sales.”