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Published: Friday, 19th May 2017

We are working with the Met Police to prevent the sale of potential weapons.

Two major national retailers in Eltham face investigation after being caught selling knives and razors to under-18s.

No proof of age asked

As part of a Royal Borough of Greenwich undercover operation, Greenwich Police Cadets visited a number of stores in Eltham on Monday 15 May, trying to buy knives and blades.

In one test purchase on Eltham High Street a 16-year-old volunteer visited a well-known high street store and successfully bought a pack of craft knives without being asked for proof of age at the self-service checkout.

The Police Cadet then went on to a major supermarket chain where he purchased a pack of double edge razor blades, again from a self-service checkout, without any form of age check or proof of identification. Both stores were in breach of the Criminal Justice Act 1998 which prohibits the sale of such items to under-18s.

'Essential that retailers do their bit'

Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Environment said, "We work really hard to keep our community safe by trying to prevent these dangerous weapons falling into the hands of youngsters.

It's essential that retailers do their bit to make absolutely sure they do not sell knives and blades to anyone underage - it's disappointing that two such well-known stores have fallen short this time and I hope they tighten up their procedures so this cannot happen again."

'An important part of our anti-knife crime strategy'

Borough Commander Simon Dobinson added, "Working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich to stop the sale of potentially very harmful weapons to young people is an important part of our anti-knife crime strategy. Removing dangerous weapons from the streets is important and so is preventing these weapons from entering the hands of young people in the first place.

The retail sector has a duty to do all it can to ensure knives and blades don’t fall into the hands of youngsters."

Other ways we are tackling knife crime

The Royal Borough works in partnership with the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) on its 'Street Violence Ruins Lives' initiative. CACT run an awareness programme in schools, an estates-based programme for young people identified as being involved in crime, and targeted specialist work with repeat offenders who are at risk of custodial sentences.

For help and guidance from local organisations on knife crime, please visit the Greenwich Community Directory