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More Swansea stores sell knives illegally to under 18s

A further warning has gone out to shops and supermarkets in Swansea about selling knives to people under 18.

Swansea Council Trading Standards and Police have caught a further three businesses selling knives illegally to people who are too young to purchase them.

The latest sting is part of a three-month initiative called ‘Operation Sceptre’ in which volunteers under the age of 18 have been enlisted by Trading Standards to visit shops and attempt to purchase knives.

Two knife test purchasing operations have already taken place in May which resulted in six instances where children under 18 were able to buy a them.

In the UK, it is illegal to sell knives to anyone under 18 unless it is a folding knife under three inches long.

David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Commercial Opportunities and Innovation, said:

 “It’s disappointing that further businesses have been caught out selling knives to young people below the legal limit. We have carried out a lot of awareness raising to inform businesses of their responsibilities.

“We will be looking at measures we can take in terms of these specific cases as part of the overall operation.

“Businesses need to make sure their staff are fully aware of what the law says and do the proper checks if they think a person is under 18.”

Operation Sceptre was launched by the Met Police in 2015 to help tackle rising instances of knife crime in the capital. Since then, police forces around the UK have been encouraged to get on board with the campaign.

Inspector Andy Matthews, of South Wales Police, said:

“Incidents involving knives are relatively rare but can have tragic consequences. Knife crime is not a part of everyday life in South Wales, but we recognise the importance of taking action to prevent a problem occurring.

“This operation with our partners demonstrates our commitment to tackling issues that could contribute to knife crime.”