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15 May 2024

A new report released on behalf of the Retail Sector Council has outlined the work that the industry is doing to create more career opportunities for people that would otherwise be...

14 May 2024

A family of booklovers are moving from Australia to become the new owners of an independent bookshop in Halifax.

14 May 2024

Worldpay’s 2024 Global Payments Report has revealed a transformative shift where consumer choice is not just influencing but dictating the future of commerce.

13 May 2024

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has called on grocers to prioritise accurate pricing following a review of the way in-store prices are displayed.

13 May 2024

Independent businesses in Leicester have praised the “uniqueness” of the city and its "vibrant" atmosphere after the news that M&S was set to close drew a...

1 May 2024

Small shops have been more "agile" at fighting COVID sale slumps than chain stores, according to a new report.

29 Apr 2024

A Peterborough store stocking products solely from local entrepreneurs said it is bucking the High Street trend and looking to expand due to its success.

29 Apr 2024

BIRA is giving independent businesses across the UK a powerful new resource with the launch of its “High Street Matters” podcast.

29 Apr 2024

The Guardian has reported independent shopkeepers saying prices they pay at Tesco’s cash-and-carry arm Booker are often higher than in Tesco’s stores.

18 Apr 2024

Independent record stores around the country are preparing to celebrate all things vinyl for this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday April 20th. 

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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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