POLICE have carried out underage knife sales tests as part of an ongoing operation to prevent knife crime in Denbighshire.

As part of a joint working initiative, North Wales Police partnered with Denbighshire Trading Standards (DST) officers to investigate the safety of knife sales to young people under the age of 18.

While the county is one of the safest places in the UK according to crime statistics, it is the force’s ongoing policy under Operation Sceptre to lead preventative work such as education and knife amnesties.

The sale checks were made on Saturday, September 21 when a volunteer police cadet, aged 15, attempted to purchase a knife at a number of retailers in Denbighshire. The volunteer attempted purchases in 13 premises, eight of which refused the sale by either asking the volunteer their age or for identification, while four premises said they did not have any knives in stock.

However one retailer did sell to the volunteer, which is now being investigated by the police.

Mark Young, Denbighshire’s cabinet member for safer communities, said DST will issue advice and education to knife retailers in response to the tests.

“This operation highlights that there is a need for staff working within stores to be vigilant when making sales,” he said.

“There are restrictions on the age of sale for knives for a reason – any child carrying a knife is at a greater risk of harm.”

Detective inspector Tecwyn Green said “there is no place” for knives on the streets of North Wales, adding: “I would urge people to speak to their children and family members so that tragedies can be prevented.”