POLICE in Kirklees have cracked down on shops which sell knives to children.
And police were shocked to find two shops prepared to sell potentially deadly weapons to children.
Random checks began in Dewsbury and Batley as part of the Kirklees Anti-Social Behaviour Challenge and in conjunction with a national crackdown.
A 15-year-old boy was used to try to buy knives at 10 shops and two sold knives over the counter.
Det Sgt Jim Griffiths, the Challenge co-ordinator, said it was disappointing to see such sales, but it highlighted how important it was to reinforce the message.
“We need to get through to retailers that they have a key responsibility in taking knives off the streets. This initial round of test purchasing is particularly disappointing as the stores which sold to the 15-year-old were part of the same chain.
“Anyone caught selling potentially dangerous weapons to teenagers is formally interviewed and referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on potential prosecution.
“As we’ve said before this is not about catching people out; it is about taking knives off our streets and removing the potential for deadly consequences.
“Retailers know these test purchases are happening and they have been highlighted in the local press. Retailers should be looking at every customer and questioning whether they are under the age of 18.
“West Yorkshire does not have a significant knife problem. But this latest series of test purchase operations underlines the issues we face and also the need to educate retailers further.
“Over the last week we have visited 25 stores which sell knives and handed out questionnaires about the legislation.”
Police have also been using the latest head-cam technology in the parks throughout Mirfield, Dewsbury and Batley.
Seventeen “stop” searches were made in known anti-social behaviour hot-spots and four formal cannabis warnings have been issued. Twenty-five youths were also spoken to in the presence of their parents.
If anyone does want to report the illegal sale of knives they can contact Consumer Direct on 0845 4040506 or contact the police in confidence via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.