Pound shop fined for selling knife to a minor

A Hackney company has been convicted and fined for selling a knife to a person under 18, following a joint exercise between Hackney Council’s Trading Standards Service and the police aimed at preventing minors from obtaining knives and other offensive weapons.

Poundstar Ltd , trading as £1 or Less, of 375 Mare Street, E8, pleaded guilty on 6th May 2009 at Thames Magistrates Court to one charge of selling a selling a 7-inch bladed knife, part of a kitchen set, to a person under the age of 18 years, which is a criminal offence under the Criminal Justices Act 1988.

The company was ordered to pay a fine of £2000, plus costs of £2418.72 and a £15 surcharge, a total of £4433.72.

The company was caught as part of a national campaign, Operation Blunt, a joint initiative between the Council’s Trading Standards and Police, who have been carrying out ‘test purchases’ in order to tackle knife sales to young people.

Poundstar Ltd admitted it had failed to take all reasonable precautions and had not exercised all due diligence to avoid the offence. It had little or no procedures in place to prevent this sale, such as documented staff training and the implementation of Challenge 21, where customers who look 21 or younger are automatically asked to show photo ID such as a driving license of passport to prove their age.

Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: “The police and the council are working hard to beat knife crime and we need shopkeepers to play their part. It is illegal to sell knives to anybody under 18 years of age, and those found doing so will be prosecuted. If customers look 21 or under, ask for ID and if in doubt, just don’t sell.”

Traders can obtain an advice pack from Trading Standards on 020 8356 4929