Boy, 15, sold Samurai sword
A 15-year-old boy was able to walk into a shop and buy a metre-long Samurai sword, it emerged today (Weds). Thankfully the teenager did not purchase the sword with sinister motives in mind, but was taking part in an undercover operation by police aimed at
A 15-year-old boy was able to walk into a shop and buy a metre-long Samurai sword, it emerged today (Weds).
Thankfully the teenager did not purchase the sword with sinister motives in mind, but was taking part in an undercover operation by police aimed at cracking down on irresponsible shopkeepers.
He was one of a number of 15-year-old police cadets who visited 23 premises in Camden Town and Kentish Town earlier this week.
Shockingly, almost half the shops visited were willing to sell blades to underage kids without asking for ID.
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Cadets were able to buy kitchen, lock and Stanley knives but it was the Samurai sword which gave police most to worry about.
Shopkeepers face six months in prison and or a fine of £5,000 for selling knives to underage people.
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Sgt Neil Payn, from Camden's Tasking Unit, said: "A heavy blow with that would cause someone severe damage. It is a lethal weapon."
Pc Jonathan Oram added: "If you have a 15-year-old walking out of a shop in the centre of town holding this then there is something seriously wrong."
Police have not released the names of the 10 stores at fault, but they have been passed onto trading standards chiefs at Camden Council.
Shop owners and staff will have no excuses as they were warned by police about the consequences of selling blades to underage kids just days before the undercover operation.
Under law, it is illegal to sell a bladed or pointed article to anyone under 18 years of age. Staff are required to ask for ID if there is any doubt.
"There is a duty on the shop keepers to ensure they sell these items to people who are old enough," said Sgt Payn.
"There can be no excuse for selling something like this. We and Camden Council are committed to getting knives like this off the streets and we will continue targeting people who are selling them."
Already this year 17 teenagers have been fatally stabbed on the streets of London.
PC Oram said: "We are tackling all aspects of knife crime which is very much in the public eye at the moment. We are trying to make sure people are not carrying knives and they are not being sold to underage people."
Camden Trading Standards chief Christopher Jones said the results of the operation were very disappointing.
"We will have to look at each one case by case," he said. "We have a range of options from formal caution to prosecutions but given the current situation with knife crime, we won't be taking these sales lightly.
"The sale of the Samurai sword was particularly shocking and there was no excuse.