Action from Islington Council’s trading standards team has led to a company and one of its directors facing penalties and costs of over £7,250 after a Chapel Market shop illegally sold a knife to a 15-year-old.
The teenager bought the knife at Chapel Market Building and DIY Ltd at 88 Chapel Market, N1 9EX, on September 17 2019, as part of a trading standards test purchase exercise. The knife that was purchased was a craft knife of the type known to be linked to knife crime in the borough.
On Thursday January 9, 2020, at Highbury Magistrates’ Court, Chapel Market Building and DIY Ltd and one of its directors Mr Tarvinder Gill pleaded guilty to selling a knife to a 15-year-old contrary to s141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Magistrates fined the company £5,000, with a £181 victim surcharge and £1,000 costs awarded to the council. Mr Gill received a £1,000 fine with a £100 victim surcharge. The magistrate also noted in sentencing remarks that knife crime is a serious problem in Islington and surrounding boroughs.
Underage knife sales can have very serious consequences. In 2014, a 17-year-old was illegally sold a knife in a shop in Goswell Road, Islington, and used it minutes later to stab a man seven times. The shopkeeper in that case was successfully prosecuted by Islington Council for the sale.
Islington Council takes the inappropriate and illegal sale of knifes extremely seriously and, in association with the Ben Kinsella Trust and the Metropolitan Police Service recently launched the UK’s first ‘No Knife Shop’ scheme which encourages local businesses to pledge not to sell knives, unless it is a core part of their business.
Cllr Andy Hull, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “It’s completely unacceptable for any business to sell a knife to under-18s under any circumstances .
“We’re pleased that magistrates treated this like the serious offence it is, fining the business accordingly. We must do everything we can to keep knives off the streets, given the terrible consequences that can arise from underage knife sales.
“Most businesses in Islington behave responsibly, but we will continue to crack down on those who break the law on underage sales, while encouraging others to take the ‘No Knife Shop’ pledge to limit the availability of knives in the borough.”
Islington Council Trading Standards runs free courses for businesses in Islington on selling age-restricted products responsibly. To find out more, you can contact Islington Trading Standards on 0207 527 4028 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org