Hackney shop owners unite to stop underage knife sales

Inspector Simon Crick, Mr Waseem Butt and Cllr Sophie Linden Pic: Met Police

Inspector Simon Crick, shop owner Waseem Butt and Councillor Sophie Linden        Pic: Met Police

A pledge signed by every business that sells knives in Hackney was finalised on Friday in a bid to reduce underage knife sales in the borough.

The pledge, which was signed by 26 shops, promotes the responsible retailing of knives and prevents illegal sales to underage people. The  “No ID, no knife” pledge will be displayed by shops to make customers aware of their commitment.

It also states that knives must be stored in a secure area to prevent thefts, they may not be sold to anyone suspected of using it to cause harm and that shop keepers have the right to compile a refusal register of people attempting to buy a knife under the age of 18.

The move comes as part of a larger scheme by the Integrated Gangs Unit which has successfully reduced knife crime by 24 per cent since its formation in 2009.

Councillor Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor of Hackney Council, who visited Waseem Butt the first shop keeper to sign the pledge said: “Knife crime is falling in Hackney and we know the vast majority of retailers are responsible and ask for ID whenever they suspect somebody may be under age. Hackney’s new pledge reinforces the commitment of the Council, Police and businesses to making Hackney a safer place by ensuring that knives are not sold to anyone underage.”

Mr Butt, who owns Bradbury’s hardware shop on Broadway Market, said he gets underage customers attempting to buy knives on a regular basis: “Young people come in to hassle us for knives, but I ask for IDs, they have tried many times, two or three times a week.”

He agreed that the scheme was “important” emphasizing that Hackney shopkeepers must, “work together to stop the sales of knives to underage children”.

The scheme is also supported by the Metropolitan Police, Inspector Simon Crick, from Hackney Borough’s South East Neighbourhoods, said: “Knife crime ruins people’s lives and this initiative is about preventing young people from getting hold of them in the first place. With local businesses being better informed of their responsibilities, the Knife Pledge Scheme will help keep Hackney a safe place to live, work and socialise.”

By James Smurthwaite


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