Posted: Sat 25th May 2024

Retailers urged to crackdown on knife sales to underage customers for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

Retailers in Wrexham are being urged to clampdown on the sale of knives to children and young people.

It comes after North Wales Police Cadets, alongside police officers, conducted an under-age sales operation as part of Operation Sceptre – a national, intensive week of action that ran last week to tackle knife crime.

The aim was to ensure local businesses are compliant with legislation, and that anyone under the age of 18 are refused knives.

A total of 23 shops were tested in areas of Wrexham, Llandudno and Conwy – with nearly half failing to ask for identification from the volunteers before selling knives.

Of the eight shops tested in Wrexham city, just one challenged an undercover Cadet for identification.

A further four out of 15 shops across Llandudno and Conwy also sold a knife without challenging the volunteers about their age.

Wrexham city acting Inspector Rob Stevenson said: “It is very disappointing that all but one of the eight shops tested in Wrexham city failed the test purchase and sold a weapon to an under-18.

“Our Neighbourhood Policing Team will be revisiting all stores who failed and working with them to review their current policies and training and educate and advise on the laws of selling knives.

“Retailers have an important role to play in tackling knife crime by ensuring bladed objects are not falling into the wrong hands.

“Further checks will be carried out over the coming months and robust action will be taken against any store continuing to sell knives irresponsibly and illegally.”

Crime prevention Inspector Geraint Richards added: “We must ensure that we are doing everything we can to reinforce the message that carrying a knife is unacceptable and that no good can come from carrying one.

“We take a robust approach to anyone found to be illegally in possession of a knife on the streets and I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to rid yourselves of any unwanted or illegal weapons by taking them to our knife amnesty bins which are located at our police station front counters.

“Carrying knives or other weapons do not keep you safe and are putting yourself in much greater danger, and more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured yourself.”

Citizens Policing Co-ordinator, Andrew Harris said: “North Wales Police Cadets will continue to support local policing teams in conducting test purchase operations across North Wales.

“In the coming weeks, they will be conducting further test purchase operations, checking retail stores comply with legislation relating to under-age sales of alcohol, tobacco and vaping.

“Retail premises have a role to play in keeping youths and members of the community safe. We will continue to check and challenge retailers who do not comply.”

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