SHOP managers in North Devon are being reminded to ensure that no knives are sold to people under the age of 18. Police Sergeant Joe Hartshorn said the vast majority of stores had proved to be conscientious in this regard. However, he had spoken to stor

SHOP managers in North Devon are being reminded to ensure that no knives are sold to people under the age of 18.Police Sergeant Joe Hartshorn said the vast majority of stores had proved to be conscientious in this regard.However, he had spoken to stores that had sold items to a 15-year-old."Quite clearly, they do have an obligation to address this situation and to safeguard against further breaches," he said."On discussing these issues, I am pleased to say that all of the managers were highly professional in their responses, all proposing actions to remedy the matter."Sgt Hartshorn reminded retail outlets that selling knives to under 18s carried a power of arrest with a possible six months imprisonment.He said: "This would include obvious items such as knives or other articles with a blade or sharp point which are specifically made or adapted for causing injury - for example, a combat knife from a military-type store - but more commonly knives of all types such as kitchen, craft, small saw knives, electric knives and axes."Sgt Hartshorn said the public perception of knife crime had been heightened considerably by ongoing media attention.But we went on: "First and foremost it is important to note that knife crime in Devon and Cornwall is actually decreasing."We must place in to context and remember that we live in one of the safest places in the UK and, while on rare occasions, we do have the unfortunate isolated incident, quite simply we do not have issues of knife crime that is being portrayed by the national media."The incidents are predominately in and around the London area.