Training and resources for knife retailers launched

Shops are being urged to ‘ASSESS-CHALLENGE-CHECK’ the age of buyers on and offline, as part of an initiative to stop illegal, underage knife sales.

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In a collaboration between the NBCC, Metropolitan Police Service, Mayors Office for Policing and Crime and Trading standards bodies, a set of training modules for retail staff has been created to help stop underage sale as well as theft of knives. These packages are published nationally on the NBCC website.

Commissioner Ian Dyson of the City of London Police and National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Business Crime, said:

“As the NPCC lead for Business Crime I am delighted to launch the training animations. These have been designed in partnership with the business community and will be an invaluable tool for businesses across the UK. The resources, part funded by the National Business Crime Centre, are available free of charge on the NBCC website. They are applicable for all businesses who sell knives, from large national chains to small independent retailers. The resources explain how businesses can store, display and sell knives responsibly to prevent theft and under age sales. Many retailers work in the community in which they live - these resources will help them to take an active part in protecting their communities by making sure that knives don’t get into the wrong hands.”

Additionally, London Trading Standards (LTS), which represents 33 local authorities in London,  joined the Deputy Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police Service in launching the London Responsible Retailer Agreement (RRA) on knife sales which is part of a toolkit of resources for retailers to use to help reduce these offences.

The RRA urges businesses and staff to:

  • understand the basic requirements for the safe storage of knives
  • follow the ASSESS-CHALLENGE-CHECK process for selling age-restricted goods
  • know when and how to contact police with suspicions of knife crime or where staff feel threatened by customers

Every business in London will soon be visited by a trading standards officer and a police officer to encourage them to sign up to the agreement.

Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said:

“Knives have no place on the streets of London. It’s simply unacceptable that teenagers as young as 13 are able to buy knives – this is why it is vital that retailers comply with the law and stop knives from getting into the hands of young Londoners.

All London retailers selling knives will be invited to sign up to the new scheme, with an emphasis on attracting smaller independent businesses to help them comply with the law. The resources are all available on the NBCC website and any other parts of the country that would like to make use of them are encouraged to get in touch as templates can be provided for their own branding.


Training modules


Letter to retailers