Following a spate of violence in Redbridge, retailers in the borough have pledged to combat underage knife sales.

Redbridge Trading Standards, in partnership with the police, have signed-up 16 stores to the London Responsible Retailers Agreement (RRA)

As part of the agreement, retailers pledge to follow the ‘assess-challenge-check’ protocol, checking prospective buyers’ identification and to contact the police with any suspicions of possible knife crime or when feeling threatened by customers.

Leader of the council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: “We’re determined to do all we can to tackle the blight of knife crime and youth violence, which is a serious challenge right across our city.

“This is a great example of how our local businesses are acting responsibly and how they clearly care about the community they serve.

“The Responsible Retailers Agreement is an important step forward in restricting access to these dangerous weapons for under 18s, and I urge all our local knife retailers to sign up to it.

The initiative follows on from a series of successful test purchases – where under 18 volunteers attempt to purchase knives without – carried out by the trading standards team.

Ninety-seven per cent of traders tested in the borough refused to sell a knife to a customer without proof of age.

Chopra & Sons Ltd on Ilford Lane is one of the 16 retailers who have already signed-up to the RRA. Store manager, Gulinder Singh Chopra said: “We’re really pleased to be part of this initiative as it’s a great way for shops like ours to show their commitment to helping tackling knife crime and stopping the underage sale of knives.

“We all have a responsibility to help get knives off the street and out of the hands of youngsters.”