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Police spot-checks finds retailers are selling knives illegally

Knife sold to an undercover cadet in Somerset Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

An undercover police operation has revealed retailers in Somerset are continuing to sell knives illegally to teenagers.

Spot-checks were carried out over the weekend by police cadets at 13 different retailers, including outdoor and army supply shops, in the Avon and Somerset force area.

Six shops passed the test and refused to sell a knife to the undercover cadet. However, seven of the shops tested failed, and sold a knife to a person under 18.

Afterwards a uniformed police officer went in and spoke to the retailers, issuing them with an advice pack which clearly outlines the law.

All were receptive to the advice and many did not realise what the law was surrounding the sale of knives.

The operation coincides with a week long national initiative starting today to tackle knife crime.

In 2014 – 15 Avon and Somerset saw a 14 per cent increase in knife crime, which is higher than the national average of nine per cent.

Worryingly, 19% of people found carrying knives or involved in knife crime, are aged 17 and under, and 23 per cent are aged 18-24.

We need to understand why young people are carrying knives and work to dispel the myth that knives are somehow cool.

– Chief Inspector Zoe Chegwyn, Avon and Somerset Police

During the week of action, officers will carry out extra, targeted patrols and use their stop and search powers.

Knife amnesty bins will also be placed in the front offices of police stations and buildings.

Man forced to withdraw cash from ATM at knifepoint

Police are investigating a robbery at knifepoint which took place on Cowick Street in Exeter.

It happened at around 2:30 am on Sunday 28 August. A 25-year-old man was walking down an alleyway when he was approached by an unknown man.

The offender threatened the victim with a knife and walked him to a cash point at the Tesco Metro. The victim was forced to withdraw £50. The offender then took the bank card and withdrew a further £120, after which the victim managed to retrieve his bank card and ran away.

This is a serious crime and we are appealing for anyone who has information regarding this incident to come forward.

While no one was hurt, money was taken and the victim was left understandably very shaken.

– Detective Constable Wadeley-Jones

Description

  • white
  • 21-years-old
  • 5’ 10”
  • medium build
  • wearing a long dark blue hoody with the hood up and dark blue trousers
  • described as having a ‘baby face’
  • a local, English accent

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CCTV of knifepoint robbery

Police have released CCTV footage of a robbery at a Poundstretcher store in Kingswood in which a cashier was threatened with a knife.

The incident happened at about 2.30pm on Sunday 29 December, when a man went into the store in Halls Road and selected a bar of chocolate.

He went to the counter to pay and when the cashier opened the till he demanded money. He took a quantity of cash from out of the till and left the store on a bicycle.

If you know who this man is, or have any information about the robbery, please call South Gloucestershire CID on the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101.