The final prosecution in a series of groundbreaking court cases brought by Croydon Council Trading Standards has seen Extreme GB LTD based in Daventry fined £10,000 with £15,000 costs for selling knives to a child.
It concludes a three-year Croydon-led nationwide clampdown against online knife sales to children which has seen 17 prosecutions, all of which resulted in a conviction, and a total of £179,755 in fines for online retailers. The scheme is backed by the Home Office and National Trading Standards.
During this pilot test purchase programme a 13-year-old volunteer, working under the guidance of Croydon Trading Standards, made 100 attempted test purchases online, of which there were 41 sales.
Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 as amended by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996, it is illegal to sell an axe, knife, knife blade or razor blade to anyone under 18.
In one case Topline Wholesale Ltd, based in Derby Street, Manchester, sold a hand axe to the teenager via eBay. The company was fined £8,500 and ordered to pay £10,500 in costs.
In a separate case Bright Associates Limited of Wickham Road, Croydon sold a six-piece knife set to the 13-year-old leading to a fine of £11,725. As part of the purchasing process the volunteer was asked to enter a date of birth and entered his true date of birth, showing he was 13-years-old.
“I am very proud of our trading standards team which has led the way in this pioneering project, helping to secure an impressive 17 prosecutions against online retailers who are failing to follow the law by selling knives and axes to our youngsters.
“Selling knives to children is incredibly dangerous and too many lives have been lost by the reckless actions of retailers. I hope this series of prosecutions sends out the clearest possible message that they must put tough measures in place to stop underage sales or risk going to court.”
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for communities, safety and business recovery
Lord Toby Harris, chair of the National Trading Standards said, “All 17 prosecutions resulted in guilty outcomes which demonstrates what we’ve been saying all along: the law is clear and if a retailer has adopted the correct procedures and ensured they are implemented there is no offence.
“I would like to thank all of the trading standards teams involved in securing these verdicts, particularly Croydon Council’s Trading Standards which led these 17 cases.”