Mum’s horror at seeing weapons for sale at charity car boot sale at Portman Road, Ipswich

The knives on display at the car boot sale

The knives on display at the car boot sale - Credit: Archant

Shoppers at a car boot sale in Ipswich were left stunned after discovering a stall attempting to sell knives, crossbows, swords and BB guns, prompting numerous calls to the police.

BB guns on display at the car boot sale

BB guns on display at the car boot sale - Credit: Archant

The stall was set up at the Portman Road car boot sale in Ipswich, but some shoppers were outraged to see replica weapons on display.

One shopper, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I was furious – there is all this knife crime but you have someone at a stall selling them.

“My daughter was with me and it’s a family boot sale.

“As far as I’m concerned with all the knife crime about it’s not safe to sell to anyone – especially with no ID or anything.”

Crossbows and samurai swords on display at the car boot sale

Crossbows and samurai swords on display at the car boot sale - Credit: Archant

A spokeswoman from the Lions Club of Ipswich, which runs the boot sale with a small team of volunteers in aid of Male Prostate Cancer Support, said they had initially been unaware of the stall, but when they were told they politely asked the stall holder to remove the items, which he did without hesitation.

She added: “The guy put them away and he was no trouble, he was fine about it.”

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However, several shoppers still called the police, who attended the boot sale.

Detective Chief Inspector Barry Byford said: “We received a number of calls from members of the public reporting that knives were being sold at a car boot sale in Portman Road. A police officer attended and spoke with the stall owner.

“It is not an offence to sell certain types of knives, or a bladed article, unless the person purchasing it is under 18 years old. The responsibility lies with the seller to take actions and exercise all due diligence to ensure the customer is of legal age.”

The attending officer also reported that the knives on show were display items, with real ones being kept inside the stallholder’s vans.

The anonymous shopper said it set a bad example when weapons were available for young children to see on display, and added that it would further encourage knife crime.

Suffolk Police has run the ‘Bin a Blade’ campaign across Suffolk in recent years, in a bid to curb the number of weapons on the street.

Det Chief Insp Byford added: “We are actively working with our Community Safety department to advise market and car boot organisers to discourage the selling of knives and weapons at their events.

“However, we also strongly advise buyers to reconsider purchasing knives offered for sale in this manner, as you could potentially commit an offence of possessing it in a public place, once it has been sold to you.

“If you want to safely dispose of any knives you can deposit them anonymously in amnesty bins located outside the Fire Station in Princes Street.

“Additional amnesty bins are located outside Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall and Sudbury police stations.”

A Suffolk Trading Standards spokesman said it was the stallholder’s responsibility to ensure they did not sell blades to those under the age of 18.