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Retailers sign up to combat knife crime

SOME of Solihull’s biggest retailers have signed up to a new initiative designed to clamp down on knife crime.

SOME of Solihull’s biggest retailers have signed up to a new initiative designed to clamp down on knife crime.

Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and John Lewis are among the town centre shops to have backed the plans - along with Tesco - which will tighten restrictions on selling knives.

The safeguards include monitoring attempts to sell knives to youngsters, a change to the display and storage of knives and clear signs stating that knives cannot be sold to under 18s.

Sarah Merrill, Labour’s prospective MP for Solihull, is supporting the measures. She recently met with Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to discuss how the plans could make a difference locally.

“Knife crime can occur anywhere. I remember when I was about 19 and had spent the evening in the Mason’s, a youth got stabbed on the top deck of the 189 that I was on,” said Ms Merrill.

“He survived, but knives are always an issue and we have to try to tackle it. The retailers becoming much more careful about who they sell to is a major step forward.”

It is now hoped that more borough stores will come forward and support the Tackling Knives Action Programme - which has also increased sentences for people who carry knives in public.

l Police recently launched a new texting service to fight back against knife crime. Youngsters who know someone who carries a knife can text the name, age and school of that individual to 88551 in confidence.

 

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