Poundland has announced it will have removed all kitchen knives from its 755 UK stores by the end of next month.
The budget retailer said the decision was made through “thoughtful reflection about concerns raised by both communities and colleagues”. Knife crime in England and Wales has risen by 16% over the last year with 40,187 incidents reported in the year to March 2018.
Poundland’s decision to remove its kitchen knives comes after Patrick Green, chief executive of the Ben Kinsella Trust criticised the retailer, when he said the toys could lead young people to believe “carrying a knife is a normal or exciting thing to do”.
A Poundland spokesperson 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.”
Austin Cooke, retail director at Poundland, 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.”