Will a change in legislation reduce knife crime on our streets?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Whilst retailers can prevent the sale of age restricted products in stores, online shopping limits the effectiveness of legislation.

Amber Rudd’s recent statement suggesting a potential change in the online sale of knives marks a welcomed step forward in digital practice. Whilst we, as trainers, can provide support and advice to retailers who work in physical stores to help control the sale of age restricted items, it is currently far too easy for young people to purchase knives and other weapons online, and have them delivered straight to their door.

For example, while credit cards are only given to those over the age of 18, there is nothing stopping a young person from taking an adult’s credit card and using this to make a purchase. The e-retailer would be none the wiser, meaning young people are able to complete these potentially life-changing transactions and currently, have the products in their hands within a matter of days.

By implementing legislation which forces anyone purchasing a knife online to collect the purchase in store, and consequently present ID, the number of children able to access these items will be significantly reduced. This not only protects young people, but the wider communities living around them. Reducing the access that young – and potentially vulnerable – people have to weapons will be a step in the right direction to reduce knife crime in Britain, making our streets safer.

The tragic death of Bailey Gwynne highlights this issue, and in order to protect children, and the wider community, we, at Under Age Sales, welcome the proposed legislation.