A court case brought by Croydon Council Trading Standards against a firm selling dangerous weapons online to children has brought a prosecution and £25,000 in fines and costs against the company.
The case, brought against Daventry-based Extreme GB Ltd, was the 17th successful prosecution in a three-year nationwide clampdown against online knife sales to children. A total of £179,755 has been imposed in fines following the Croydon-led scheme, which has had the backing of the Home Office and National Trading Standards.
During this pilot test purchase programme, a 13-year-old volunteer, working under the guidance of the Trading Standards team, made 100 attempted test purchases online. Of these, 41 resulted in sales.
Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 as amended by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996, it is illegal to sell an axe, knife, knife blade or razor blade to anyone under 18.
In one case, Topline Wholesale Ltd, based in Derby Street, Manchester, sold a hand axe to the teenager via eBay. The company was fined £8,500 and ordered to pay £10,500 in costs.
In a separate case, Bright Associates Ltd of Wickham Road, Croydon, sold a six-piece knife set to the 13-year-old, leading to a fine of £11,725.
As part of the purchasing process, the volunteer was asked to enter a date of birth and entered their true date of birth, clearly showing that they were only 13.
Lord Toby Harris, the chair of National Trading Standards, said, “All 17 prosecutions resulted in guilty outcomes which demonstrates what we’ve been saying all along: the law is clear and if a retailer has adopted the correct procedures and ensured they are implemented, there is no offence.
“I would like to thank all of the trading standards teams involved in securing these verdicts, particularly Croydon Council’s Trading Standards which led these 17 cases.”
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