New powers to curb knives

COUNCILLORS have extended the powers of trading standards officers in Suffolk so they can carry out checks to see whether shopkeepers are illegally selling knives.

COUNCILLORS have extended the powers of trading standards officers in Suffolk so they can carry out checks to see whether shopkeepers are illegally selling knives.

Suffolk County Council's Cabinet yesterday granted the new powers under the Local Government Act 2000.

It means officers can now use under 16-year-olds to covertly check whether traders in Suffolk are selling blades to youths.

The move will help reduce cases of antisocial behaviour in the county linked to the underage sales of alcohol and knives, trading standards said.

It is illegal to sell knives, blades, axes or razors to teenagers under the age of 16, with some exemptions such as replacement cartridges for safety razors.