On Friday, Northumbria Police and Trading Standards carried out a joint initiative which saw one of the Force’s Cadets sent out to a number of stores to carry out test purchases.
Officers who supported the 16-year-old during the operation then monitored which stores upheld the ‘Challenge 25’ protocol.
The Cadet visited 11 stores in total with 10 identifying the underage shopper and refusing the sale.
Acting Chief Inspector Rob Bosson, from Northumbria Police’s Harm Reduction team, said: “We take a very strong stance on knife crime and while our Force area continues to experience low levels compared to other areas across the country, this does not mean we will become complacent.
“It is pleasing to see such a positive response from the overwhelming majority of local stores we visited and really highlights the responsible approach they have to selling knives.
“We are committed to taking part in a whole range of initiatives to educate people about the dangers of knife crime. We also visit schools and local community groups as well as working alongside partners and local authorities to help keep our communities safe.”
It is an offence to sell knives to anyone under the age of 18 and consequences can range from a fine to closure of the store.
An investigation is now under way following the sale at the one store last week.
Cllr Carole Burdis, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member for Community Safety and Engagement, said: “I welcome this operation by the police and our Trading Standards team to tackle the illegal sale of knives.
“Knife crime is an issue that has gained national attention and while this area is a very safe place to live, work and visit, it’s important we remain vigilant.
“I’m delighted that all except one of the many premises that were visited refused the sale of a knife to our volunteer.”
Officers urge anyone who has any concerns or information about people going out with a weapon to come forward and speak to police by calling 101 and asking to speak to their local Neighbourhood Team or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.