Poundland slammed for selling 'realistic Halloween knives'
Campaigners have criticised discount retailer Poundland for selling "realistic-looking" plastic knives ahead of Halloween. The glow-in-the-dark knife and meat cleaver are on sale as part of their collection of props and costumes.
Anti-knife campaigners have called for the products to be removed from shelves.
Poundland said they share people's concerns about knife crime.
Hyacinth Francis, who set up the Chayah Project to tackle knife crime in Nottingham, said: "It's a toy today and a lethal weapon tomorrow. "Can you imagine a child having one, seeing something in the kitchen drawer looking like that and thinking they can play with it?
"It looks so real."
The 55-year-old said with the country seeing high levels of knife crime, it was "mindless" and "irresponsible" to sell the knives. "It's caused enough damage in this city and around the world, and I don't think they should be advocating that children play with stuff like that. "Patrick Green, from the Ben Kinsella Trust, echoed these concerns and urged the retailer to stop selling the knives "immediately".
"Families who have lost loved ones and victims of knife crime will be horrified to learn these knives that look so realistic are being sold to children," he said."While these toys are not illegal and Poundland are not breaking any laws, their sale may lead children to believe that carrying a knife is a normal or exciting thing to do."
Chelsea Smith, from Nottingham, said she bought one of the knives for her children and didn't think there was an issue. "It's just for Halloween," she said. "They sell guns as toys and kids play with those don't they? It doesn't mean they're going to go and kill people."
A Poundland spokesman said: "We share everyone's concern on knife crime." He said that by the end of next month, the company were to become the only high street retailer to completely remove kitchen knives from all their stores
He added: "This, however, is just a glow-in-the-dark plastic toy for Halloween."
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and an unlimited fine. You'll get a prison sentence if you're convicted of carrying a knife more than once.
Question - If it is illegal to carry a knife in the UK with a potential prison sentence of 4 years for doing so. Do you think that Poundland are irresponsible in selling plastic knives for Halloween - could they be mistaken for being a real knife or are people over reacting?
Our Economist (and Northern Ireland Manager) was a young bright-eyed and bushy-tailed researcher when he joined the BPIF in 1996, a few years later he ran the London Marathon - he's just done it again and helped raise some funds for a great cause.
The BPIF has updated its briefing document summarising the latest developments regarding pulp, paper and board demand and prices.