New measures to tighten the laws around the sale of knives and corrosive substances have come into force as part of the government’s efforts to tackle youth violence under the Beating Crime Plan.

These new measures were included in the Offensive Weapons Act 2019, placing new responsibilities on retailers and delivery companies during the online sale and delivery of knives and corrosive substances.

In terms of delivery, packages containing these items can now only be handed over to the recipient once it has been verified that there are over 18. The sale of corrosive substances has also been banned to anyone under the age of 18.

In a submission to the Home Office’s consultation on corrosive substances in 2017, ACS outlined its support for a regulatory age restriction on harmful products, noting the convenience sector’s familiarity with age-restricted sales of other products such as tobacco, fireworks and alcohol.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Retailers should apply the Challenge25 policy to the sale of knives and corrosive substances as they do with the sale of other age-restricted products and this should be done at the point of sale for in-store purchases, on collection or at the point of delivery.”

ACS has a range of advice available for retailers on the sale of age restricted products assured by Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards, including a guide on preventing underage sales and new guidance for delivery drivers on how to approach the delivery and refusal of age restricted products is available here.

Earlier this year, ACS also launched a new campaign to boost awareness of Challenge25 among consumers and support colleagues in local shops selling age-restricted products. Challenge25 is a long running successful policy created to support colleagues who are doing their job by enforcing the law on age restricted sales, including knives and corrosive substances.