16th May 2023

Retailers reminded of knife rules

Staffordshire Trading Standards is supporting a campaign to remind businesses that sell knives of their responsibilities.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team

Businesses in Staffordshire that sell knives are being reminded of their responsibilities as part of a national campaign to reduce knife crime.

The ‘Ditch the Blade’ campaign is being co-ordinated by Staffordshire Police with support from Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards, which is delivering advice to local shops and retailers about their responsibilities when selling knives.

It is illegal to sell a knife or similar product to anyone under 18 years of age and best practice is for the retailer to adopt a recognised age verification system, often referred to as Challenge 25. Officers are providing advice and information on the rules around sales and safe storage of knives. Companies’ head offices are also being contacted with advice on staff training and the law.


Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said:  “Knife crime is a concern for everyone, however, thankfully Staffordshire remains a place where incidents are rare.

“We already have high levels of compliance amongst local retailers when it comes to responsible knife sales.  This is encouraging and we’re confident that the advice and support given out by our Trading Standards service is helping.  This gives us all reassurances that these businesses are playing their part in making Staffordshire a safer place.

“Retailers of all sizes need to ensure their employee training policies are thorough and robust with regards to responsible knife sales.  The safe storage and display of knifes is also important and officers are happy to provide advice.  Businesses should get in touch with the team.”

Chief Inspector Rob Hessell, who leads on Knife Crime for Staffordshire Police, said: “It’s really important that we all work together as a partnership to tackle knife crime, as it’s not something that can be solved by one organisation alone.

“Trading Standards are a key partner in our work to reduce the number of knives on the streets through the campaign, and their work to check retailer compliance on knife sales, ensuring young people are challenged at the point of attempted purchase, is vital to making our communities a safer place to be.”

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