Officers from the Basingstoke Safer Neighbourhoods Team carried out 22 test purchase operations as part of a week of action against knife crime.
Out of the 22 stores tested, nine failed by selling knives to a person aged under 18.
More stores passed by refusing to sell a knife, razor blade (not including a safety razor) or axe to our test purchasers, who were all police cadets aged 14 to 17 years old.
The cadets attempted to buy the bladed articles in view of plain-clothed officers at stores across Basingstoke.
The test purchases formed part of Operation Sceptre, a nationwide campaign through which we are working to keep knives off the streets and educate people about the dangers associated with knife crime.
It is an offence under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to sell knives to a person aged under 18 years old.
The staff member and manager of the stores that failed the test purchase operation will be requested to attend an awareness course with the police.
Further test purchase operations are planned.
Sergeant Oli Battersby said: “It is completely unacceptable that a child as young as 14 can walk into a shop and buy a knife without any questions being asked.
“We are working hard to reduce knife crime but we need the support of the communities we protect.
“This may be through providing information about people who carry knives, or, as in this case, by not selling knives to children.”
As well as our test purchase operation, we also opened a knife amnesty bin at the Northern Police Investigation Centre in Jays Close, Viables.
A total of 40 bladed articles, including knives, machetes and swords were handed in between Monday 17 July and Sunday 23 July.
If you are concerned that someone you know is carrying a knife, then please call us on 101 and report it before it’s too late.