A raft of household-name retailers, including John Lewis, Debenhams, Wilkinsons and TK Maxx, are actively supporting a new government campaign to prevent the illegal sale of kitchen knives to young people.
Under the scheme, supermarkets and other retailers will display new signs in product aisles where knives are sold, explaining that proof of the buyer’s age is required if they appear to be under 18.
The signs carry the message: “We are working in partnership with the Home Office to prevent the sale of knives to under 18s”.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith launched the initiative this week in conjunction with the British Retail Consortium and retailers. Other retail names backing the campaign are Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Home Retail Group, House of Fraser, BHS, B&Q, Ikea, Matalan, Poundstretcher, Co-op and Amazon.
Commenting on the new scheme, Smith said: “I am very pleased that so many leading high street retailers are joining forces to say no to knife crime. This reinforces our message to anyone who is tempted to break the law.
“We are determined to stamp out knife crime and get weapons off our streets. Everyone – government, police, communities and businesses – has a role to play in tackling knife crime. Combined with tough laws and proactive policing, I hope this new campaign will help save lives and make our streets safer.”
It is illegal for any shop to sell a knife of any kind, including both kitchen knives and cutlery, to anyone under 18.