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West Lancashire shops praised during #OpSceptre test purchasing operation

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

West Lancashire Police and Cadets from across the area have conducted an under-age sales operation as part of a number of activities to coincide with Operation Sceptre, a national, intensive week of action to tackle knife crime.

The exercise yesterday, (Monday 13th November 2023) aimed to ensure that local businesses across West Lancashire are complying with legislation and that those under the age of 18 are unable to purchase knives.

The retail premises visited challenged our 15 and 16 year old volunteers for identification before refusing to sell knives.

PC Dave Fairclough, who led the activity, said: “We have been really pleased to see that staff have been aware of their responsibilities and took action not to sell to sell knives to our under age test purchasers.

“However, we can never become complacent and all of the stores we visited were reminded of the responsibility that they have to ensure they are complying with legislation and also following the ‘Check 25’ policy when it comes to selling any bladed item.

“We will continue to carry operations like this one and will take robust action against those who pay little regard to their duty when it comes to refusing sales to under-18s.

"If you have any information on young people purchasing knives in local shops, please do contact us so that we can take appropriate action.”

As part of the work to support #OpSceptre, officers will also be carrying out educational school visits to raise awareness of the consequences of carrying a knife.

We have installed knife bins across the county to keep knives off our streets, reducing their potential to cause harm and keeping people safe. These containers are a safe and secure way to anonymously dispose of unwanted knives.

The knife bins across West Lancashire can be found at the following locations:

Digmoor Community Centre, Skelmersdale, WN8 9HR

Tanhouse Community Centre, Skelmersdale, WN8 6AN

If you have any information about knife crime in your area, call 101 or report anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.