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Knives: Retail Trade

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with representatives of retail businesses on the sale of knives. (312771)

On 17 November 2008, I chaired a roundtable with retailers (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Aldi, Morrisons, Co-op, Woolworths, Marks & Spencer, Argos/Homebase, TK Maxx, Next, Poundstretcher, Wilkinsons, Matalan, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Debenhams, BHS, B&Q and Ikea) to agree a six point commitment to limit the sale of knives to under 18s.

This included the following commitments:

1. To provide training and support to staff on the sale of knives, and keep a register of completion of training;

2. To clearly display to the public signs stating that knives are not for sale to under-18’s;

3. To ensure that display and storage of knives minimises the risk of theft;

4. To ensure till prompts are in place to remind staff at point of sale;

5. To enhance safeguards on internet sales to address attempted underage sale of knives;

6. To monitor attempted underage sales and share information with local police and other partners.

The six point commitment, agreed with 21 retailers, was launched by the previous Home Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Redditch (Jacqui Smith), on 5 February 2009. We continue to monitor the impact of this agreement as part of the broader TKAP programme.