BY TOBY PORTER
Two shops have been fined thousands of pounds for selling knives to children.
The prosecutions come amid the latest figures which show there were 97 knife killings in the capital in the year up to May.
Using an undercover volunteer test purchaser, officers from Lambeth council’s trading standards team found both Fortress Lock & Safe Co. in Brixton and Penny Saver in Stockwell sold knives to a 14-year-old girl.
The two stores pleaded guilty and magistrates have handed down thousands of pounds in fines. Fortress Lock & Safe Co. was fined £6,000 and Penny Saver £1,200, as well as costs and a victim surcharge.
Fortress Master Locksmiths Ltd (trading as Fortress Lock & Safe Co.), at 107 Brixton Hill, was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £796.40 to the council on July 6.
The trader was told to pay a victim surcharge of £120 by Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court for selling a knife to a 14-year-old girl.
The court heard that on February 14, 2018, a retractable knife was sold to the 14-year-old for £4.02 during a test purchasing exercise which was being conducted by Lambeth council’s trading standards officers in partnership with the Met.
Penny Saver Stores Ltd (trading as Penny Saver), at 274-276 Wandsworth Road, Stockwell was fined £1,200 on July 12 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £832.90 to Lambeth council.
The shop was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 by Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard that on February 14, 2018 a Stanley knife was sold to the 14-year-old for £15.99. Cllr Mo Seedat, Lambeth’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “These businesses should be ashamed of selling knives to children whilst knowing the destruction knife crime is causing in our communities.
“I praise and thank our officers in taking tough action against these rogue businesses and I hope this action sends a strong signal to all shops in our borough – that they too play a part in ridding our communities of violence.
If our public health approach to making young people safer is to work we need every part of the community – schools, authorities, families and businesses – to work together.”
Magistrates also found that appropriate staff training, awareness and compliance with the Challenge 25 policy, which could have prevented the sales, had not been implemented by either business.
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