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22.08.23 – Responsible Retailer Scheme Staffordshire

Written by on 21 August 2023

Staffordshire Police and Trading Standards teams are asking retailers to consider how they store and display knives, as well as who they sell them to, as part of a new Responsible Retailer Scheme they are launching this week, on behalf of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Violence Reduction Alliance (VRA).

A Responsible Retailer Pack containing best practice advice, summary of relevant legislation and promotional materials on the topic of knife sales will be distributed to retailers across the county and city.

The majority of knives purchased from retailers are not used for crime, but some may be purchased with this intention in mind, so we are asking retailers to assess, challenge and check before a sale takes place as they have the right to refuse a sale if they have concerns about how the knife may be used.

Ben Adams, Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime and Chair of the VRA said: “Overall crime rates in Staffordshire are well below the national average, but there is still more to be done. Following recent community engagement, it is clear that our communities have some concerns particularly around knife crime. The Responsible Retailer Scheme will help to address some of these concerns, prevent the unlawful sale of knives across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and resultantly, help protect communities.”

Knives can only legally be sold to over 18s, so the pack details the best way to avoid underage sales through staff training, keeping records of sales refusals and how to display knives safely so they can’t be accessed without the help of retail staff.