Police warn shops not to sell knives to under-18s

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Shops across Nottinghamshire are being warned not to sell knives to under-18s.

The warning from Nottinghamshire Police comes during Operation Sceptre, a national week of awareness of knife crime.

It is illegal for retailers to sell knives to under-18s, but the force said some shops continue to do so.

In the summer of 2017, officers carried out test purchases at 19 shops in Nottinghamshire over two dates.

Fourteen of the shops they visited passed, but five failed.

Detective Superintendent Simon Firth, the force's new knife crime strategy manager, said: "Unfortunately we do find some retailers occasionally fail the tests.

Knife crime strategy manager Simon Firth pictured outside Central Police Station

"We favour the education approach first because we need to stress the importance of everyone pulling in the same direction when it comes to reducing knife crime. But if shops persistently fail test purchases those who sell the knives could be prosecuted.

"I would call on all shop owners to remain vigilant on this issue and play their part in keeping knives out of the hands of children."

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Duncan Ball, the National Police Chiefs' Council's lead for knife crime added: "Responsible retailers have signed up for a voluntary code and are asking anyone who looks as though they are under 21 for ID, refusing anyone who can't provide it and telling the police.

"We want them to continue and for other retailers to follow their example."