Council and Essex Police tackle underage knife and substance sales

Southend-on-Sea City Council Trading Standards team and Essex Police are jointly undertaking a proactive initiative to address the sale of knives and dangerous substances to underage individuals.

View along Southend High Street

This vital project involves volunteers under the supervision of council officers visiting various stores across the city to attempt the purchase of knives or corrosive substances that could potentially be used as weapons.

Early findings indicate a need for increased vigilance, with three out of six stores not yet fully compliant with age-related sales regulations. However, the focus of this initiative is on education and prevention.

Stores found to be selling restricted items to minors will receive a reminder of their legal obligations and a formal warning. These stores will be re-tested shortly thereafter, and any repeated failure to comply will lead to further action by Trading Standards.

Alan Richards, executive director for environment and place, said: “Ensuring the safety of our young people is a top priority. This collaboration between Southend-on-Sea City Council and Essex Police aims to reinforce the responsibilities of local retailers in preventing underage sales of potentially dangerous items. By working together, we can create a safer environment for everyone in our community."

In conjunction with this initiative, Southend-on-Sea is now hosting The Knife Angel, a powerful symbol against violence. This poignant installation, constructed from over 100,000 confiscated and surrendered knives, is now on display at the top end of the High Street throughout July.

The Knife Angel serves not only as a stark reminder of the dangers of knife crime but also as a memorial for its victims. Residents and visitors are encouraged to view the Knife Angel and reflect on its powerful message.

For more information about the Knife Angel event, please visit our Community Safety Partnership website.

Published: 2nd July 2024

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