Poundland to stop selling kitchen knives in all stores following toy blade criticism

26 September 2018, 04:54 | Updated: 26 September 2018, 11:05

Poundland is going to stop selling kitchen knives in all of its stores after it was criticised for stocking toy blades and glow-in-the-dark plastic meat cleavers for Halloween.

The budget retailer had already decided to remove the utensils from shelves after all knives - including kitchen variants - were removed from stores in London back in April, and all 755 outlets nationwide will fall under the same policy by the end of next month.

Poundland said the decision - which also came into force in the West Midlands in July - came after "thoughtful reflection about concerns raised by both communities and colleagues".

The firm confirmed the full extent of its knife ban after concerns were raised over the Halloween-themed plastic knives by chief executive of the Ben Kinsella Trust, Patrick Green.

He said that while the plastic blades are not illegal, they could lead to children believing "carrying a knife is a normal or exciting thing to do".

Knife crime has risen by 16% in the last year in England and Wales, increasing to 40,187 offences in the year to March 2018.

A spokesman for Poundland said: "We share their concern on knife crime.

"That's why no one is doing more than Poundland. By the end of this month we'll be the only high street retailer to completely remove kitchen knives from all of our stores nationwide.

"This, however, is just a glow-in-the-dark yellow plastic toy for Halloween."

The chain's retail director, Austin Cooke, added: "The decision to stop selling kitchen knives nationwide is a commitment that we know means a lot to both our colleagues and our customers.

"For a long time they've expressed their concern around the associated risk of having knives available and the unfortunate truth is that in the wrong hands, knives can be used for the wrong purpose.

"The safety of our colleagues and customers is crucial and we hope our fellow retailers will follow our lead in playing a responsible role in preventing knife-related incidents."