Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Shops selling knives to children 'shocking and unacceptable'

Eight shops in Southampton were caught selling knives to children during a police test purchase operation.

Police cadets, aged 16 and 17, visited 17 stores across the city as part of Operation Sceptre on Thursday.

They tried to purchase knives without producing ID and were refused at nine shops.

Sgt Charles Ilderton, from Hampshire Constabulary, said the number of businesses who failed the operation was "shocking and unacceptable".

He added: "If the correct procedures are not carried out, then young people can easily obtain knives, potentially putting their lives, or the lives of others at risk.

"Further test purchase operations will be undertaken in the future and we will take a more robust stance with any stores that fail."

A spokesperson added the shops who sold knives to the cadets were told they had failed the test and provided with education and guidance.

The maximum penalty for selling a knife to someone under 18 is up to six months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine.

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