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London's fight against knife crime gains momentum

FINED: Poundstretcher Ltd in Dagenham was fined for the sale of a knife to a 15-year-old

BARKING AND Dagenham council’s fight against knife crime is beginning to yield dividends as shopkeepers do their bit to address sales to youngsters.

The council’s Trading Standards team visited over 120 premises during 2017/18 to carry out test purchases and ensure knives are not being sold to anyone under the age of 16.

These include major retailers, shops, supermarkets, hardware and DIY stores.

This proactive work with the police saw 91 per cent of the 129 premises visited refusing to sell knives to individuals under the age of 18.

However, 11 of the shops visited failed, including Pound Plus shop in Heathway, Dagenham, who were caught selling a knife to a 15-year-old and were fined £360 and ordered to pay £1000 in costs.

In addition, Poundstretcher Ltd in Dagenham failed a test purchase and received a £7500 fine following the sale of a knife to a 15-year-old and were ordered to pay costs of £5221.50.

Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “The sale of knives to young people in our borough has dropped over the last 18 months due to our continuous effort in repeating the test purchasing exercise.

“The council is sending out a strong warning that we will not tolerate any businesses who are selling knives to anyone under the age of 18 and we take a zero-policy approach to anyone breaking the law.

“We will continue to work closely with the police and responsible businesses in our determination to cut down the number of knives on our streets in order to ensure the safety of residents in Barking and Dagenham.”

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