A shop in North London that sold a knife to a 14-year-old and stocked illegal tobacco products has been ordered to pay £4,050 following an investigation by Islington Trading Standards.
Homix Enterprise Ltd, trading as Value4Money on Stroud Green Road, was the focus of an intelligence-led test purchasing operation in October last year.
An employee of the shop sold a craft knife to the 14-year-old volunteer without carrying out any age verification checks, contrary to s141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
When Officers subsequently visited the shop and the company’s other store on Blackstock Road they found and seized 607 illegal tobacco products.
At Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, Homix Enterprise Ltd pleaded guilty to the illegal knife sale and to three offences under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. The prosecution was led by Islington Council’s Legal Service.
On 3 August, magistrates fined Homix Enterprise Ltd £1,000 for the knife charge and awarded costs of £250 to the council. The company also received a £2,000 fine for the tobacco charge, with a £800 victim surcharge.
The presiding magistrate noted that there was a “significant problem in London with knife crime”. However, he also noted that the magistrates had been as lenient as the law allowed them to be, after the company cited significant ongoing financial difficulties.
Cllr John Woolf, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Everyone in Islington deserves to feel safe, which is why we have zero tolerance for businesses that sell knives to under 18s. We all must do our bit to keep each other safe, like taking our ‘No Knife’ pledge or making use of our eight knife bins. And while most businesses behave responsibly, we will take robust action against those that break the law and put others in danger.
“This prosecution sends a clear message that knife crime has no place on our streets. Although knife crime in Islington has reduced since 2018 and serious youth violence has continued to decrease too, we know that just one instance is a tragedy. We know that selling knives to underage persons can have terrible consequences. It will not be tolerated. And we will act against those who break the law.”