The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA)’s responsible knife retailing steering group has met again with the Metropolitan Police Business Care Hub to discuss the latest legal position on the safe retailing of bladed items. The meeting which took place on 14th October discussed forthcoming Offensive Weapons Act legislation – now expected in the spring 2021 – as well as proactive police and trading standards initiatives in respect of the legitimate retail of bladed items.
The meeting was chaired by Sergeant Stephen Simpson 751CO of the Business Crime Reduction Hub Partnership, Engagement & Crime Prevention and the attendees from the BHETA steering committee were Michael Harris, Ephy Dobbyn-Scott and Gurjit Najran from Sainsburys, Alistair Fisher, MD, Taylors Eye Witness, Michael Dickinson, MD, Burton McCall, John Wright, Ops Director, Robert Welch, Richard Carr from Amefa and Kathryn Farrell from Lakeland.
Some of the key points discussed included:
- Draft Offensive Weapons Act legislation now expected to start being implemented in April 2021 – although Ministerial sign-off is still outstanding and the dates could be pushed back again due to Covid.
- Home Office funding secured by the police in summer 2020 to produce educational animations surrounding the OWA act and the implications for retailers, couriers, and the public – in the style of https://nbcc.police.uk/knifeguidance, and the police are keen to take retailer feedback during development.
- Outstanding questions based on feedback from retailers and suppliers include the technicalities of implementation around couriers and proof of delivery during Covid
- The Met has offered to hold monthly meetings/updates with interested parties in the run-up to the implementation of the Act.
For more information about BHETA, BHETA lobbying, and the BHETA responsible knife retailing campaign, contact the Member Services Team on 07946 078566 or visit the BHETA website www.bheta.co.uk.