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21 Feb 2024

The latest quarterly State of the Industry survey from the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) shows that the recovery of the sector was slow and steady through 2023 and into January...

21 Feb 2024

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21 Feb 2024

Businesses in the Devon town of Ottery St Mary have praised their local council for initiatives designed to help support them and boost trade.

19 Feb 2024

A new ranking of the most popular independent coffee shops in the world has put three UK cafes in the top 10.

19 Feb 2024

Older people could be the financial shot in the arm needed for Britain’s high street, according to research commissioned by the University of Stirling. 

8 Feb 2024

The ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has celebrated the crucial role that rural shops play in thousands of communities across the UK in its 2024 Rural Shop Report.

8 Feb 2024

New research reveals that Apple Pay and contactless payments have overtaken cash payments by a landslide as our favourite ways to pay in-store.

5 Feb 2024

The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) has expressed alarm at new figures that show shoplifting at its highest level in 20 years.

5 Feb 2024

A brand-new festival is being launched next month is “all about community and breathing life into the High Street”, according to Mark Kacary, managing director of The Norfolk Deli in...

5 Feb 2024

The retail sector has been responding to government plans to ban disposable vapes as part of plans to tackle the rise in youth vaping.

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Retailers face up to £1m fines for underage knife sales under new sentencing guidelines

Posted on in Business News

Retailers caught selling knives to children in England and Wales could face a £1m fine when new sentencing guidelines come into effect on 1 April.

knives

It will be the first time magistrates’ courts will have specific guidelines for sentencing this offence, which is prosecuted by Trading Standards and will apply to large organisations, as well as individual shop owners, who fail to ensure adequate safeguards are in place to prevent the sale of knives to under-18s either in-store or online.

Previously, the amount of any fine or penalty imposed following an underage sale had been left to the court’s discretion, leading to concerns that the fines were too low and did not reflect the seriousness of the offence.

Under the new guidelines, organisations will face a range of fines from £500 to £1m, with the amount linked to turnover to make penalties proportionate to the size of the organisation. Individuals face a range of non-custodial sentences, from a discharge to a high-level community order or fine.
It aims to set out a more structured and consistent approach to sentencing the offence.

While the focus of the guidelines is the underage sale of knives, the legislation covers a much broader range of bladed articles including axes and razor blades.

It is, therefore, important retailers understand the scope of the legislation in order to identify which items of stock are subject to age restrictions, according to Ashley Borthwick, a lawyer at international law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, quoted in The Grocer.

He said retailers would be well advised to consider checking the up-to-date guidance relating to age-restricted sales, particularly in respect of online sales, reviewing the adequacy of underage sales policies and procedures for both physical stores and online, and refreshing staff training.

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