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Barking and Dagenham stores caught selling knives to underage buyer

PUBLISHED: 10:45 16 September 2015 | UPDATED: 11:04 16 September 2015

Knives sold to a 15-year-old during the probe

Knives sold to a 15-year-old during the probe

Archant

Four major high street stores have been caught selling knives to a 15-year-old during an undercover operation.

Five blades, including an eight-inch chef’s knife, were sold to the underage buyer as part of a summer probe that saw 27 premises visited.

Cllr Laila Butt, cabinet member for crime and enforcement, said: “It’s unacceptable and irresponsible for shops to sell knives to youngsters.

“It’s no secret London has an issue with youth knife crime and while we are relatively less affected than elsewhere, we cannot afford to be complacent.”

The investigation found that stores sold to underage buyers on 15 per cent of purchase attempts.

Legal proceedings have now begun against the stores accused of selling the knives.

“I warn any retailer which has not lived up to their civic responsibility and has not taken robust measures to ensure their staff do not sell knives to youngsters that we will take legal action,” Cllr Butt said.


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