A large kitchen knife, a retractable knife, a trimming knife, razor blades, and 12 cans of cider were illegally sold to two 17-year-olds in a Solihull Council operation.
A series of underage test purchases were carried out in September and October 2022 at various shops across the borough. The two 17-year-olds were test purchase volunteers, working with Solihull Trading Standards, who attempted to buy either knives, alcohol, or nicotine inhaling products (vapes). All these products have an age restriction of 18.
Of the 11 shops that were visited, four correctly challenged the volunteers and refused the sale, but four shops sold them knives, and three shops sold them alcohol.
Councillor Bob Sleigh OBE, Cabinet Member for Resources , said:
“I am shocked at the ease at which our two 17-year-old volunteers were able to acquire dangerous weapons such as knives and age-restricted products such as alcohol and vapes.
“Exercises such as these are crucial in testing how well certain companies and their staff adhere to the law by simply asking for identification before allowing age-sensitive transactions to continue.
“I applaud the work of our Trading Standards & Environmental Compliance team in holding businesses to account and keeping Solihull a safe place to live and work for all.”
When selling knives and vapes to underage people, both the business and the person who physically made the sale can be held responsible. In the case of alcohol, both the person who physically made the sale and the licensee can be held responsible.
The Council will continue to carry out test purchase operations throughout the borough in the lead up to Christmas.