The Best Bargain Centre shop in Thornton Heath has been fined more than £2,000 after admitting selling knives to children. The High Street shop was represented in court by the owner Susannah Ijaz who pleaded guilty to the charges.
Last month the court heard there was no record kept of the stock in the shop and the owner was unaware the knives were being sold.
The allegation was brought against the shop after the council scheduled standard test-purchasing operations in October last year. Under-age teenagers were sent into the shop and bought a four-piece knife set for £2.99. The cashier was then cautioned over the sale but, according to the council, shop staff did not understand the severity of their actions.
The store had failed to respond to invitations to the free “Do You Pass” course run by Croydon’s Trading Standards team that educates shopkeepers and owners on the sale of controlled items to underage individuals.
Hamida Ali the Croydon cabinet member for communities, safety and justice said: “This, worryingly, is another instance of a business failing to accept the offer of a training course, that’s free of charge and which is designed to prevent exactly the sort of situation in which the owner subsequently found herself.”
This investigation follows 37 similar test purchases that took place in 2015 where a number of stores in Croydon were found to be supplying underage children with weapons.
Following the 2015 investigations Mark Watson, former councillor for communities, safety and justice, said: “Access to knives can expose children and young people to increased risks, including gang-related culture and potential serious crime or injury, either committing anti-social crime or becoming a victim of crime themselves.”
If you want more information on the “Do You Pass” scheme then you can visit the Trading Standards Institutes page below.