Tesco and Asda caught selling knives to children

Tesco and Asda caught selling knives to children: Retailers caught breaking the law by handing blades to youngsters as secret shoppers also expose Poundland and Home Bargains

  • National Trading Standards sent children into high street stores across the UK 
  • They found they were able to buy a knife in more than one in seven attempts
  • Poundland, Home Bargains, Asda and Tesco sold knives to children at least 15 times each,  which is illegal and at odds with their policies to protect the public 

Retailers are putting lives at risk by failing to deliver on promises not to sell knives to children, it has been revealed.

National Trading Standards sent children into high street stores to attempt more than 2,200 test purchases and found they were able to buy a knife in more than one in seven attempts – 15 per cent.

Poundland, Home Bargains, Asda and Tesco sold knives to children at least 15 times each – which is both illegal and at odds with their own policies to protect the public. Some 41 out of 100 test purchases made through online stores also allowed children to buy a knife.

National Trading Standards sent children into high street stores to attempt more than 2,200 test purchases and found they were able to buy a knife in more than one in seven attempts ¿ 15 per cent (stock image)

National Trading Standards sent children into high street stores to attempt more than 2,200 test purchases and found they were able to buy a knife in more than one in seven attempts – 15 per cent (stock image)

Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, as amended by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996, it is illegal to sell a knife, knife blade, razor blade or axe to anyone under 18.

Government ministers have claimed that ease of access is fuelling a knife crime epidemic and have vowed to put in place a revised weapons act which will, among other things, stop knives being sent to residential addresses after they are bought online – unless they are delivered to an age-verified adult.

Lord Harris, of National Trading Standards, said retailers need to take drastic action to restrict sales, including taking them off shelves or displaying them in locked cabinets.

He said: ‘Our tests show that it’s still too easy for a child to buy a knife in a store or online. We know that young people are being cautioned and convicted for knife crime offences, and as such I urge all retailers to do more.’

Asda said it was ‘disappointed with the results’ of the tests but said ‘we have since provided updated training for colleagues and have clear policies in place to ensure we meet all our responsibilities’. The other three companies did not respond to requests for comment. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Distinct Today is a news media company, focused on the intersection between hyper-relevant content and digital innovation. Distinct Today curates editorial news content, experiences, and events across multiple platforms including email, mobile, online and offline. Distinct Today is headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company is privately held. Distinct Today targets an affluent, college-educated audience.