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Poundland stops selling kitchen knives across all West Midlands stores

Kitchen knives will no longer sold in any of Poundland's 59 branches across the West Midlands. Credit: PA

Discount store giant Poundland has stopped selling kitchen knives in all of its 59 stores in the West Midlands.

It has become the first high street retailer to enforce such a ban and others are now expected to follow suit.

Poundland took all knives off shelves in its London stores earlier this year, but chose the West Midlands as the next region because of soaring knife crime.

It said it aimed to take knives out of all its stores across the UK and Ireland by autumn.

A spokesman said the decision was made "after thoughtful reflection about concerns raised by both communities and colleagues".

Poundland retail director, Austin Cooke, said:

“The decision to stop selling kitchen knives not only in the West Midlands, but nationwide, is a commitment that we know means a lot to both our colleagues and our customers.

"For a long time they’ve expressed their concern around the associated risk of having knives available and the unfortunate truth is that in the wrong hands, knives can be used for the wrong purpose.

"The safety of our colleagues and customers is crucial and we hope our fellow retailers will follow our lead.”

– Austin Cooke, Retail Director, Poundland

The West Midlands has seen a massive rise in the number of stabbings.

It now has the fastest growing rate of knife crime outside London.

A recent report by the Home Office found crimes involving a knife or sharp instrument had risen by more than 1,000 a year between September 2014 and September 2017.