The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) is lobbying the Government for urgent advice before the legislation goes ahead for the Offensive Weapons Act 2019. The Association has approached Simon Eglington of the Tackling Crime Unit at the Home Office regarding the ongoing Offensive Weapons Act 2019 consultation. BHETA is emphasising that manufacturers, importers, suppliers and retailers of knives need sufficient notice to ensure that they have addressed any labelling and process changes that arise when the Act is finalised.
Since initial responses to the Offensive Weapons Act Draft Statutory Guidance to the Home Office in October 2019, the industry has not received any response from Government – even general guidance on potential timing. Having now heard indirectly that Spring 2021 is the most likely date for implementation of new legislation, BHETA has asked for an urgent update on the revised Statutory Guidance to be released to the industry as soon as possible.
BHETA and the leading industry suppliers set up a supplier / retailer steering group to identify collaborative initiatives that could contribute to responsible and safe knife retailing. Following initial meetings, consensus has been reached on the approach to rollout Challenge 25 packaging and POS to include knives and bladed items. BHETA is also supporting the Metropolitan Police Knife Retailing group, hosting meetings with its representatives and attending meetings at New Scotland Yard, physically and virtually.
Commenting on its latest approach, BHETA’s chief executive officer Will Jones said, “With all that has happened in 2020, delay to implementation is understandable and prudent in the light of the pandemic, but BHETA is now asking for an update on the latest thinking. While I appreciate the reasons for delay, suppliers and retailers do need time to implement any legislative changes to packaging and point of sale, so it is vital the industry receives timely Government advice.”
Top: Members of the housewares industry have changed processes to ensure age-verified sales and deliveries, but, with the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 still in consultation, have not had clarity on when new laws will be finalised.