March 9, 2019
Amid the knife crime epidemic that shows no signs of slowing in the UK, Asda has announced it will remove all single kitchen knives for sale at its stores by the end of April 2019.
The supermarket giant made the decision in response to the rising number of stabbings occurring across the country, especially those involving children and young people.
According to The Independent, Asda’s senior vice president, Nick Jones, expressed concern that single kitchen knives were one of their most commonly stolen knife products and could well go on to be used as weapons.
He said: “We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to support the communities that we serve.
“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.
“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.”
The move comes after continually rising knife crime figures led many to declare it a national crisis.
Between March 2017 and 2018, there were 285 deaths caused by a knife or sharp instrument – the highest since Home Office records began in the 1940s.
Recent Home Office analysis also showed the number of young people killed by knives rose by nearly 50 per cent last year.
With the death toll rising by the day, knife crime is a growing issue both inside and out of England’s capital and no one seems to be able to come up with a decent solution to curb the concerning trend.
With its latest initiative, Asda is hoping to do its bit while also raising awareness across the country.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We welcome this move by Asda to restrict access to knives in their stores.
“It is already illegal to sell knives to under 18s and retailers are playing their part in ensuring they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
“In addition our Offensive Weapons Bill will also introduce legislation that will make it harder than ever for young people to purchase knives.”
Actor Idris Elba has also issued a plea to youngsters in an emotional Instagram video.