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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sale-of-knives-voluntary-agreement-by-retailers/sale-of-knives-voluntary-agreement-by-retailers
Tesco, Lidl UK, Amazon UK, Wilko, Argos, Morrisons, Asda, Poundland, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Waitrose, Boots, Aldi, Co-Op, B&Q, TK Maxx and Debenhams have agreed to adhere to the following principles:
- Retailers will apply their policies for age-restricted sales such as think 21 or challenge 25 to ensure age verification checks take place and knives will only be sold (or supplied) once they are satisfied the customer is 18 or over. This will include proof of age checks for in-store sales, collection or point of delivery situations.
- Action will be taken in-store and online to remind customers and staff that knives are age-restricted products. This means that knives will only be sold (or supplied) once age verification to think 21 or challenge 25 has taken place. Supervisory support to be provided where appropriate.
- Retailers will ensure knives are displayed and packaged securely as appropriate to minimise risk. This will include retailers taking practical and proportionate action to restrict accessibility and avoid immediate use, reduce the possibility of injury, and prevent theft.
- All staff selling or approving sales of knives will be provided with training, with that training being refreshed at least once every year. This includes all staff involved in the sales transaction up to and including delivery. The principles above will be applied as relevant to each retailer’s business model in discussion with their Primary Authority.
- Ebay is committed to a safe online marketplace and currently prohibits the sale of all knives on ebay.co.uk, with the exception of cutlery.
- Amazon requires that all third-party sellers on its marketplace comply with the law on the sale of knives, including clearly listing products as for over 18s and requiring age verification on delivery. Those who do not are subject to action including potential suspension.
Alongside this, the government will:
- Identify what progress is being made by working with the police, trading standards, the Better Regulation Delivery Office and relevant codes to carry out test purchases at different retailers, feeding back results to retailers’ head offices.
- Introduce legislation to extend the Primary Authority scheme to knives as soon as Parliamentary time allows.
- Explore the use of online identity exchange and Trust Elevate as a secure, reliable age verification tool for knife sales. Home Office officials have attended meetings hosted by the British Retail Consortium and are waiting to see if retailers consider this an effective tool for age verification.