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Harold Hill shops remove knives from shelves after teenager Jodie Chesney was stabbed in park

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 March 2019

A number of stores in Harold Hill have removed knives from their shelves after incidents in the last month.

A number of stores in Harold Hill have removed knives from their shelves after incidents in the last month.

Liam Coleman/Dave Curtis

A number of shops in and around Harold Hill have taken knives off their shelves after the death of teenager Jodie Chesney.

A number of shops selling knives in Harold Hill have decided to take them off the shelves, with some of them removing them completely from stores following the death of Jodie Chesney.

The 17-year-old girl scout was stabbed in Amy’s Park on March 1, and shops in the surrounding area have taken action to try and prevent any more knife related incidents.

on March 9 supermarket chain Asda confirmed it will be removing single kitchen knives from sale in all its stores by the end of next month.

Pound Town in Farnham Road, Harold Hill.Pound Town in Farnham Road, Harold Hill.

Following this, reporter Liam Coleman went to speak to shop owners in and around Harold Hill, and find out what they have done.

Kal Singh, who is the manager of Pound Town in Farnham Road, said he has taken all knives off the shelves in the store, and they are now kept behind the counter.

However the Recorder noticed craft knives, and smaller blades were still on show, and Mr Singh said there isn’t space to keep all knives behind the tills.

Small blades and Stanley knives on sale at Pound Town in Harold Hill.Small blades and Stanley knives on sale at Pound Town in Harold Hill.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has also removed knives from sale within the store in Harold Hill, and so has Lidl in Gooshays Drive.

It is illegal to sell knives to under 18s, unless they have a folding blade less than 3in (7.6cm) long. In Scotland, 16 to 18-year-olds may buy cutlery and kitchen knives, however.

Other stores including Next and Halfords at Gallows Corner have also taken extra precautions.

Small blades and knives on sale at Pound Town in Harold Hill.Small blades and knives on sale at Pound Town in Harold Hill.

The only knives sold by Next are in its home department, and they are included in cutlery sets.

Halfords - which sells a number of car parts, tools, camping and touring equipment and bicycles - keeps all its knives, wrenches and heavy metal items in a locked cupboard close to the tills.

Mr Singh from Pound Town told the Recorder: “Since hearing about what happened with Jodie we have tried to do as much as we can to stop making it easy for criminals.
“We have now put knives behind the till and still operate the same challenge when anyone wants to buy them.

Iceland in Farnham Road, Harold Hill.Iceland in Farnham Road, Harold Hill.

“We see a lot of anti-social behaviour outside of the store, and crime is still bad around here.

“We have a responsibility when selling products like this, and we take it very seriously.”

A member of staff at Iceland said the store doesn’t sell knives, and said: “I think it is important it is highlighted how easy it is for someone to just steal a knife from a store on a shelf, but where does it stop?

Knives and tools are locked away at Halford's at Gallows Corner. Photo Liam ColemanKnives and tools are locked away at Halford's at Gallows Corner. Photo Liam Coleman

“Do we need to put screwdrivers and any sharp objects in locked cupboards? What about big stores like B&Q, do tradesmen who genuinely buy these items for work need to prove what they are going to use them for before they can buy them?”

A spokesman from Sainbury’s said although knives may still be available in bigger stores, the store in Farnham Road no-longer sells knives, and doesn’t have any plans to bring them back anytime soon.

Speaking about Asda’s decision to remove single kitchen knives a few weeks ago, Nick Jones, senior vice president, 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.

Single use kitchen knives have now been moved behind the tills at Pound Town.Single use kitchen knives have now been moved behind the tills at Pound Town.

“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.”

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