Five retailers in Bury were caught breaking the law during a trading standards and licensing operation over the Easter school holidays.
Two under-age volunteers visited a total of 50 shops, pubs and gambling premises across the borough to see if they could buy a variety of age restricted products – including knives, alcohol, cigarettes, e–cigarette liquids and DVDs – and play fruit machines. It is illegal to sell most of these age restricted products including knives to anyone under the age of 18.
While 30 of the premises visited correctly refused sales, the children were able to buy seven knives from five retailers without being asked for identification. The shops are being notified and investigations are under way.
Angela Lomax, head of trading standards and licensing at Bury Council, said: “The results of the test purchase operation are disappointing. It’s absolutely vital that retailers and licensed premises in the borough have measures in place to prevent under-age sales of all age-restricted products, but in particular knives, given the current problems relating to knife crime nationally. Staff should be properly trained to prevent knives getting into the hands of children.
“We are committed to working with our partners including Greater Manchester Police to combat the problem of knife crime, and will be taking relevant action against the retailers who failed the operation.”