Feeds

Trading Standards calls for online knife sale ban

Conscience pricked by underage web blade spree

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Trading Standards is making a call for Government to block any sites attempting to sell underage products in the UK, after sending a bunch of kids out to pick up some sharps with not unpredictable results.

The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has been doing some research tempting retailers with underage shoppers. They sent under-18-year-olds round to a number of real shops to buy knives, and also got them to attempt to buy knives online via what they understand to be UK-based online shops.

The result was that one in four real shops will sell to underage purchasers – and four out of five online retailers (58 out of 72 sites tested) would sell to individuals under 18.

As a result, the TSI is now calling for a ban on all knife sales over the internet. We asked them to explain the reasoning behind this demand, as well as how it would work. A spokesman claimed initially: "With real bricks and mortar shops, we can intervene and educate the retailer into better practice.

"With the internet, that is not possible, as we cannot always locate the supplier."

However, we then spoke to the individual who had headed up the research. He said that they were able to find 100 per cent of online retailers making underage sales: many were surprised, and most took immediate action to amend their selling procedures.

He had no estimate of the number of online retailers making such sales that they could not track – although he did make reference to overseas retailers, who are in fact outside the scope of UK Law, who sometimes masqueraded as UK-based companies.

Since this was not part of the TSI remit, he volunteered that the time may have arrived for government to make use of blocking software to prevent people accessing products sold into the UK from overseas for which age restrictions apply.

In the end, we remained unclear as to why TSI were calling for a ban: knife sales to underage individuals are illegal, and the TSI expert believes there is no problem in locating those companies breaking the law.

They are not asking for a ban on shops selling knives: merely for online companies doing so. When pressed, their expert did acknowledge that if they had merely said that, they might not have achieved quite such a splash in the press.

A ban on selling of such products goes a long way further than either the retail industry or government has suggested. The Interactive Media in Retailing Group (IMRG) has set up an Age Verification Online working party to collectively address the issue.

Last year, a ten-minute Bill by Luton South MP, Margaret Moran to introduce compulsory age verification for selling of products online failed when it ran out of parliamentary time. However, the present consensus seems to be much more closely wedded to the view that some form of age verification is, in the long run, the way to go. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.