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Knife crime agreement hailed

An agreement of principles between major retailers and the Government to tackle knife crime has been hailed by Home Secretary Theresa May.

The Home Office reports that Tesco, Lidl UK, Amazon UK, Wilko, Argos, Morrisons, Asda, Poundland, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, and Waitrose have committed to regular staff training, safely displaying and securely packaging knives, raising public awareness of age restrictions, and age verification checks for knife sales whether in-store, or if ordered online, at point of collection or delivery. It has been supported by the trade body the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Ebay UK and Amazon have also made commitments for their respective marketplaces, the Government added.

The announcement of the voluntary agreement with retailers was made as part of the second day of the Home Office’s International Crime and Policing Conference in London, where the Theresa May also launched the Government’s first modern crime prevention strategy.

The voluntary principles include a commitment for law enforcement to conduct follow-up test purchases of knives in 6 months and to provide feedback to retailers to take action to tackle breaches of the law. The government will work with the British Retail Consortium to extend this agreement to other retailers. The agreement follows a knife crime roundtable with a number of major retailers, chaired by Mrs May.

Theresa May said on March 23: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on victims, families and communities, and I am determined to do all I can to prevent it. Retailers have a vital role to play in this fight and I welcome today’s commitment. Knives have no place on our streets.”

To read the strategy online as a pdf visit https://www.gov.uk/. In a foreword, Mrs May wrote that ‘fraud and cyber-crime, to name but two, are as preventable as car crime and burglary if we understand the problem, work together and use our collective ingenuity to beat the criminals’.


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