Newport shops targeted by underage test purchasers in bid to tackle knife crime

Newport retailers were visited. <i>(Image: Newsquest.)</i>
Newport retailers were visited. (Image: Newsquest.)

TEST purchasers visited multiple Isle of Wight shops as part of a campaign highlighting the risks of carrying knives.

During Operation Sceptre – a week-long period of heightened police activity to tackle knife crime – 11 Newport retailers were visited.

Supported by Trading Standards, test purchasing work was carried out by young volunteers.

All of the outlets passed the test, meaning no knives were sold to the young volunteers.

Police also set up a surrender bin outside Newport Police Station, where people could hand in knives.

Inspector Alison Attwood, of the Isle of Wight High Harm Team, said: “The fact that no knives were sold to underage people during the test purchasing is a fantastic reflection of the store owners on the Island looking to keep the community safe.

“Working with businesses and partners in this fashion plays such a crucial role in preventing knives getting into the wrong hands.

“We know that young people in particular face pressures to carry weapons, or may be subject to exploitation, so early intervention is key.”

If you are aware of anyone who carries a knife or have concerns that someone you know may carry a knife, you should report it to police or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police also encourage parents and their children to visit – a resource for broaching the subject of knife crime with young people.

Fearless also provides a service independent of the police where children and young people can seek support or report issues anonymously.