London,
04
April
2014
|
16:08
Europe/London

Hackney businesses pledge to reduce underage knife sales

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Hackney Council and Hackney Police have joined forces with local shop keepers to continue to reduce the sale of knives to anyone under the age of 18.

All twenty six businesses in Hackney selling knives have signed up to the new pledge. The aim is to promote the responsible retailing of knives and prevent illegal underage sales to young people.

The twenty six signatories to the pledge are committed to making Hackney a safer place for everyone. The businesses have agreed to store knives in a safe and secure area to stop self service and prevent thefts. They will ensure knives are not sold to anyone under the age of 18, and request identification of every customer believed to be under the legal age.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Hackney Council's Deputy Mayor visited a Hardware Shop in Broadway Market and met Waseem Butt, the first business owner to sign up to the pledge.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council
Knife crime is falling in Hackney and we know the vast majority of retailers are responsible and ask for ID whenever they suspect somebody may be under age. Hackney's new pledge reinforces the commitment of the Council, Police and businesses to making Hackney a safer place by ensuring that knives are not sold to anyone underage.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council

Inspector Simon Crick, from Hackney Borough's South East Neighbourhoods, said:" Knife crime ruins people's lives and this initiative is about preventing young people from getting hold of them in the first place. With local businesses being better informed of their responsibilities, the Knife Pledge Scheme will help keep Hackney a safe place to live, work and socialise."

Mr Waseem Butt said: "I have joined the scheme as it is important that we all work together to stop the sales of knives to underage children."

Knife crime is on the decline in Hackney and since its launch in 2010 Hackney's Intergrated Gangs Unit (IGU) unique partnership working has directly contributed to tackling inequality and making Hackney safer.

In 201/13 Knife crime was down by 24% compared to 2009/10 the year before the IGU was established.

The IGU, is led by Hackney Council but co-located and co-funded with staff from the police, probation service, DWP and Hackney Council's Young Hackney and Community Safety teams.