Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Trading Standards find boot sellers supplying knives illegally

FOUR traders were caught illegally selling knives to a 14-year-old undercover volunteer when West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Service carried out a test purchasing exercise at a car boot sale.

Graeme MacPherson, Head of Trading Standards, said: “The items sold were not simple butter knives but were:

·          A Stanley knife.
·          An eight-inch filleting knife.
·          A six-inch kitchen knife.
·          An axe.

“It is illegal for anyone – trader or otherwise – to sell knives and other bladed items to under 18s and it is the sellers of the knives who commit the offence – not the car boot sale organisers.”

All four sellers have received a warning letter from the Trading Standards Service and been told they may be subject to further test purchase exercises.

Pete Bradbury, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “This small snapshot paints a worrying picture on the availability of knives to children at car boot sales.

“With a 100% failure of sellers to act within the law, we are now contacting the organisers of the major car boot sales in the West Sussex urging them to adopt and enforce a ‘No Knives’ policy for their sellers.  

“So far the response has been encouraging with seven car boot sales agreeing to a full knife ban. Two others already have such a ban and are working with us to improve its effectiveness.

“By working with car boot sale organisers in this way, our Trading Standards Service is able to play a part in reducing the availability of knives to children.”