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  1. ITV Report

Fake weapons on sale at Poundland for Halloween - despite removing kitchen knives from their shelves

Anti-knife campaigners are angry that Poundland is stocking a selection of plastic knives as part of Halloween fancy dress costumes.

In a climate of rising violent crime, Poundland stopped selling kitchen knives at its 59 stores in the West Midlands over the summer. They said,

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

But now, knives are back on the shelves.

They're plastic and glow in the dark - but with realistic-looking handles, and some come with a tube of fake blood.

Credit: ITV News Central

Anti-knife crime campaigner Alison Cope lost her son Joshua Ribera - a rapper known as Depzman - when he was stabbed to death outside a nightclub in Selly Oak in 2013.

He'd been at a memorial party for a friend, who'd been stabbed and killed a year earlier.

Credit: ITV News Central

"It sends out [the message] that knives are to be played with, that knives are a toy, when in fact knives are the UK's number one murder weapon and are ending lives almost daily in this country.

So they're something we need to be very careful around, and selling them for a pound and allowing children to buy them is irresponsible."

Credit: ITV News Central

The region's Police and Crime Commissioner has now called on Poundland to take the toy knives off sale.

When you look at what's going on at the moment in the West Midlands, and knife crime amongst young people, sometimes as young as 12 or 13, then this in that context is totally wrong.

And I think this is where Poundland should reflect on this now, and just say to themselves, this was a mistake, we're going to take them off.

– David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner

Poundland, which is based in Willenhall, has defended the products, saying:

"We share everyone's concern on knife crime. By the end of this month, we'll be the only high street retailer to completely remove kitchen knives from all of our stores nationwide.

This, however, is just a glow-in-the-dark plastic toy for Halloween."

Watch Charlotte Cross' report here: