Upper Holloway business signs up to 'No Knife Shops' scheme in UK first
PUBLISHED: 07:58 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:59 23 December 2019
Shopkeepers in Islington are being actively discouraged from selling blades unless it's a core part of their business to prevent stabbings.
Islington Council has teamed up with the Metropolitan Police and Ben Kinsella Trust to launch the UK's first "no knife shop" scheme.
In a launch event at Vinay's Shoe Care in Upper Holloway, Islington Council's crime chief Cllr Andy Hull joined shop owner Vinay Chohan, Supt Dave Moorhead and chief exec of anti knife crime charity Ben Kinsella Trust, Patrick Green.
In 2019, Met Police data showed Islington ranked 11th out of 32 London boroughs for knife-crime offences and 18th for knife-crime injury offences.
This represents a 10.3 per cent reduction in knife-crime in Islington in the past 12 months, compared to a 1.4 per cent increase across London.
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By signing up to the scheme, businesses can make a public, positive commitment to community safety and contribute to collective efforts to reduce the availability of knives in the local area.
The scheme is an attempt to change retail thinking from "how to sell knives safely" to "why sell them at all?".
Cllr Hull said: "There is no acceptable level of knife crime and every single incident is one too many. We have made real progress in this area in the past year, in partnership with the police, but every new step to keep knives off the streets is worth taking."
"Most businesses in Islington are responsible and community-minded, and those that sell knives do so in a responsible manner. But by coming together to take the 'No Knife Shop' pledge to limit the availability of knives, we are making a strong statement, as a community, that knife crime is not acceptable in Islington."
Mr Chohan, owner of Vinay's Shoe Care said: "I'm proud to be the UK's first ever No Knife Shops. Local shops are an important part of their community and we don't want people walking into them and coming out with dangerous knives.
"I'm calling on other shop owners to get behind the campaign and sign up."