Asda to remove single kitchen knives from sale by end of April | UK News

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Asda has announced it will remove single kitchen knives from sale by the end of April in response to concerns about knife crime.

The supermarket chain confirmed the items would be removed from all stores following increased concerns about knife-related deaths across the UK.

At least 39 people have been killed in stabbings so far this year.

Asda’s senior vice president, Nick Jones, said he believed the store had a “responsibility” to local communities.

He said: “Whilst we have already taken steps to restrict the sale of knives to ensure that they do not fall into the wrong hands, we felt there was more we could be doing to support those looking at how to bring this issue under control.

Victims of knife crime in the UK so far in 2019
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At least 39 people have died as a result of knife crime so far this year

“We know single knives are the most common knife products to be stolen and that is why we have chosen to remove these items from our stores.

“This is an issue that means a lot to our customers and to our colleagues, and we are committed to playing our small part in helping to make our communities safer for all.”

In 2016, the supermarket chain signed a voluntary agreement set out by the Home Office to prevent the sale of knives to under-18s and ensure the kitchen utensils are safely displayed and packaged.

Responding to the latest announcement, a Home Office spokesperson said it “welcomed” the move by Asda.

In September, Poundland announced it would become the first high street retailer to remove kitchen knives from all stores nationwide.

It is currently illegal to sell knives to under-18s, although 16 to 18-year-olds can buy cutlery and kitchen knives in Scotland.

Undated handout photo of Ayub Hassan who was named as the the 17 year-old boy that was stabbed in West Kensington and later died in hospital on Thursday
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Ayub Hassan, 17, was stabbed in West Kensington

Asda’s decision comes as a 15-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of 17-year-old Ayub Hassan in west London.

A 20-year-old man has also been charged with the murder of Jodie Chesney, 17, who was stabbed from behind in east London.

Campaigner Danny O’Brien, who founded the group Anti-Knife UK, said he has been campaigning for over a year for shops to be “more responsible” when selling knives.

He said he felt the group’s campaign “played a part” in the company’s decision and hoped other chains would follow suit.

O’Brien has also called for stores to tag knives to prevent the items being stolen.

“It will not stop knife crime but means stores can do an ID check before the knife is handed to the customer,” he said.

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