Scotland Yard invites BHETA to join retailer steering group

Ahead of the new Offensive Weapons Act, the British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA), has been invited to join the retailer steering group of Scotland Yard (the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service).

The move follows several informal conversations together with BHETA’s success in securing the extension of the Challenge 25 initiative from alcohol sales to cover other age-restricted goods, specifically kitchen knives.

The initiative encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID such as a card bearing the PASS (the government-backed Proof of Age Standards Scheme) hologram, a photocard driving licence or a passport.

The application of Challenge 25 to kitchen knives will not only include point of sale items but also, for the first time, supplier packaging and distribution company outer packaging. BHEA says the fact that these can now carry the Challenge 25 graphics as well, will make in store enforcement and delivery enforcement easier for retail and distribution company staff.

This latest development has interested Scotland Yard as part of its production of training resources to help reduce the theft and underage sales of knives in conjunction with the National Business Crime Centre [NBCC], Trading Standards and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (London).

BHETA marketing manager Steve Richardson and BHETA president Alastair Fisher have attended several police consultations on responsible knife retailing. Steve commented: “BHETA has secured the opportunity to co-ordinate a package of Challenge 25 collateral for retailers and their distribution partners which meets the needs and expectations of everyone involved, including the police and trading standards. Designs are being produced, and we hope to be able to gain the agreement of all parties involved.

“Working with Scotland Yard on the project is clearly a major opportunity to create a hard-hitting campaign representative of the whole industry. BHETA’s objective is to ensure members are fully compliant with future legislation while safeguarding the legitimate purchase of kitchen knives and cutlery.”

BHETA’s involvement follows its initiation of a consultative taskforce comprising kitchen knife retailers and suppliers, including John Lewis & Partners, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Lakeland, Dunelm, TK Maxx, Elys of Wimbledon, Harts of Stur, Taylor’s Eye Witness, Amefa, Fiskars, Meyer, Haus, Burton McCall, Kuhn Rikon, Rayware and Robert Welch Designs.

The Metropolitan Police Service has produced a range of training resources that are available at www.nbcc.police.uk/knifeguidance.

For more information about the BHETA responsible knife retailing campaign contact the BHETA member services team on 0121 237 1130 or visit www.bheta.co.uk.

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