Knife sale prosecution

A Stoke Newington shopkeeper has been fined £400, plus legal costs of £150, for selling six knives with 4-inch blades to a 15-year old boy in a test purchase organised by Hackney Council’s Trading Standards department.

Bayram Kabala, owner of Akdeniz Kitchen Warehouse of 86 Stoke Newington High Street, London E8 pleaded guilty to allowing the sale at Thames Magistrates Court on 8th July 2009. His employee, Olkan Nacar of Kingsland Road, E8 pleaded guilty to selling the knives to the boy and was fined £75.00 with legal costs of £75.00.

The Council conducts regular controlled purchases to check that shop keepers are not selling knives and other controlled goods, such as alcohol, tobacco products and solvents, to young people. The aim is to protect children in the borough from harm and educate traders about the dangers of allowing children access to knives and other controlled goods.

The Council’s Trading Standards team has been working with the Metropolitan Safer Neighbourhood Police as part an inner-London campaign to stop children buying and gaining access to knives.

On the 27th October 2008 officers from Hackney Trading Standards and Safer Neighbourhood Police conducted a controlled test purchase at Akdeniz Kitchen Warehouse, using the trained child volunteer, who was able to buy the knife set.

Sentencing Mr Kabala and Mr Nacar, the District Judge said that the court takes a very serious view of children being sold knives and that retailers must take some responsibility.

Cllr Alan Laing, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Knife crime in Hackney is down significantly, but in a week when we’ve all been reminded of the tragic consequences of knife crime, it is important to say that we must all play our part in ensuring that children don’t have access to dangerous weapons. The Council operates a zero tolerance policy and we always prosecute those shopkeepers who break the law.”