Preston stores fail underage knife sales test

Preston Police have teamed up with Trading Standards and young volunteers from across the area to conduct an under-age sales operation as part of Operation Sceptre – a national, intensive week of action to tackle knife crime. 

The exercise, yesterday (Monday 13th May, 2024) aimed to ensure that local businesses across Preston are complying with the legislation and that those under the age of 18 are unable to purchase knives. 

Three of the eight stores visited challenged the 15-year-old volunteer for identification before refusing to sell knives. 

Five of the stores failed the test purchase. They were issued with a warning and will be revisited in the future to ensure they are complying with legislation. 

PS Ste Tillotson from Preston’s Neighbourhood Policing team said: “Knives are dangerous and the sale of them to children is not only illegal but puts them at risk too. 

“All of the stores we visited were reminded of their responsibility when it comes to refusing sales to under-18s.  

"If you have any information on young people purchasing knives in local shops, please do contact us so that we can take appropriate action.”  

County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “I was out with our Trading Standards Team in Preston yesterday and was appalled to see the majority of the businesses selling knives to a 15-year old. 

"Knives have no place on Lancashire's streets and Lancashire County Council is committed to working hard with the Police to tackle this issue and keep our young people safe." 

If you have any information about knife crime in your area, call 101 or report anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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