Action by Croydon Trading Standards has resulted in a Norbury-based trader becoming the borough’s first shop owner to be handed a prison sentence for selling knives to children. It is illegal to sell knives to anyone under the age of 18.
Shakeb Hakime, of Norbury Discount Store, London Road, was sentenced to 10 weeks’ jail, suspended for 12 months, after admitting the offence at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on 12th December 2016. He was also ordered to perform 100 hours’ community service, and to pay costs of £7,144 and a victim surcharge of £80.
The court heard that in October 2015 seven shops were tested by two 15 year old volunteers working with Croydon Council Trading Standards. They attempted to buy knives at each premises but were refused except at Norbury Discount Store. A member of staff sold them a £4.99 five-piece knives and scissors set without asking for proof of age.
Mr Hakime was previously convicted of a similar offence at the same premises in June 2014. When sentencing the District Judge said a custodial sentence was justified due to his failure to attend free training offered by the Council, or take any other steps to prevent knife sales to children, following the earlier conviction.
Across the Capital London Trading Standards have been assisting the Metropolitan Police as part of their Operation Sceptre activities by carrying out joint knife test purchasing exercises. Operation Sceptre is a response to concerns over knife crime levels in the capital. Some 533 test purchases have been attempted resulting in 132 sales, a failure rate of 25%.