La Cookshop comments on knives sales
Independent cookshop owner, Keith Crowther of La Cookshop, Blagdon in Northumberland gives his viewpoints on the sale of knives issues, following articles in the March/April issue of Progressive Housewares:
“I read with interest the article by Andrew Goodacre in the last issue of PH. Whilst I agree with the sentiment of the article I feel it misses the point (no pun intended on such a serious issue). The issue of knife crime goes much deeper than retailers selling knives and quite honestly a few sound bites from supermarkets that they will no longer sell loose knives will do nothing to even slow the problem down. I have seen no research that someone goes in to an ASDA store, steals a knife then goes out and stabs someone with it.
It is a problem that is society’s making and not one that can be addressed by business or even government alone. Society has to make a judgement call on how it wants these crimes viewed, sadly only deaths of teenagers make it on to the news now and this is what needs to be addressed.
In every home in the country knives will out number the number of people who live there at least 2 to 1, take a look in your own knife block in your own kitchen to see if I am right. That could mean there are 100 million knives out there. See the issue, not all stabbings are with knives that are recently purchased or stolen, they can be taken from the average kitchen drawer.
I do feel that a major question remains over the sale of knives online. I commend John Lewis who have not sold knives online for years as I too have never sold them online either. Surely a ban on the sale of knives where they are delivered would be a step forward, so that if you buy a knife online, you have to collect it from a bricks and mortar retailer who can verify your age.
Punishments for retailers who sell knives to underage purchasers should be increased as well. The recent report that Tesco had sold knives 3 times to underage shoppers without seeking verification should surely lead to a heavy fine, it would if it was alcohol so why is knife crime different, a sharp knife is more dangerous in the hands of a 16 year old than a bottle of cider. So therefore do we need a licensing system similar to that of alcohol? To be continued I think?”