Knives sold illegally to 14-year-old test buyer in West Sussex

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FOUR traders were caught illegally selling knives to a 14-year-old undercover volunteer when trading standards officers carried out a test purchasing exercise at a car boot sale.

The service, which is run by West Sussex County Council, found that a Stanley knife, an 8in filleting knife, a 6in kitchen knife and an axe had all been sold to the youngster.

All four sellers have received a warning letter and have been told they may be subject to further test purchase exercises.

Graeme MacPherson, head of trading standards said: ‘It is illegal for anyone to sell knives and other bladed items to under-18s and it is the sellers of the knives who commit the offence – not the car boot sale organisers.’

Pete Bradbury, cabinet member for public protection, said: ‘This small snapshot paints a worrying picture on the availability of knives to children at car boot sales.’

‘We are now contacting the organisers of the major car boot sales in West Sussex, urging them to adopt and enforce a ‘no knives’ policy for their sellers.’