Operation Sycamore is Greater Manchester Police and Trafford Councils response to tackling serious violent crime, with a particular emphasis on knife crime.
Speaking about the operation Sergeant Nick Young of GMP’s Trafford division said: "We all have a part to play when it comes to tackling knife crime, and during the operation we engaged with the Trafford community encouraging them to help us tackle the issue."
TFGM’s TravelSafe Partnership Manager, Kate Green, said: “Operations like this not only deter crime and antisocial behaviour, they demonstrate the work of the TravelSafe Partnership and our proactive approach to keeping our network and customers safe.”
You can find out more by visiting GMP's website here.
But the reason we wanted to talk about Operation Sycamore is because we sell Opinel knives from our shop The Hive which is located in Altrincham and close to the Navigation Road and Altrincham Metrolink stations.
So we have put together a small video that shows what steps we have taken as a responsible retailer, to try and prevent the knives we sell falling into the wrong hands and being used in violent crime across Trafford.
Just to recap, these are some of the steps that we have taken to be a responsible retailer.
We have completed a series of 5 modules on the National Business Crime Centre website.
Designed for everyone involved in the sale or delivery of knives including managers, retail staff and delivery drivers. They aim to standardise training across all retail sectors by raising awareness, improving knowledge and understanding of how good product placement and additional security measures can prevent theft and illegal sales of knives.
Each module comprised of a short animation and knowledge check and took 5-10 minutes to complete, but we wanted to ensure we were doing everything we should, to be responsible.
We consciously make an effort to ensure that the knives are stored and displayed safely at The Hive.
We've done this by purchasing lock cabinets for the main display of Opinel knives which include pocket knives, gardening saws and kitchen knives.
We also ensure that any knives out of the cabinets are by the counter area and is either in a large non pocketable packaging or out of reach, to prevent thefts.
We also have CCTV in store on the knife section, so if a knife is stolen we can provide clear footage to the police.
We also take extra steps when selling knives, to Sell knives safely.
We ASSESS the age of all customers buying knives as it is against the law to sell to anyone who is under 18.
We ASSESS if it is appropriate to sell the knife to a person over 18. "businesses should also never sell if they have concerns about how the buyer may use the item. Remember – the law is on your side: businesses do not have to sell goods to anyone if they don’t want to."
We CHALLENGE anyone we think is under 25 for proof of age - a rule known as ‘Challenge 25’.
We CHECK the ID offered, carefully, to ensure the customer is over 18.
We EVIDENCE all refusals and challenges on record, which is recognised as good practice.
We EDUCATE our customers too. Opinel pocket knives are classed as lock knives, they are permitted in the UK, BUT you need a good reason to carry them LEGALLY in PUBLIC. So we provide each customer with a "Knives Take Lives" flyer that emphasises the law and how to be a responsible knife owner.
We're not bothered if having our knives in lock cabinets or if the "Challenge 25" loses us a sale.
We are proud to be honest responsible and meticulous when it comes to selling (or refusing to sell) knives.
After all we have a duty of care to look after ourselves and our community.
The Hive by VH_INTERIORS, 32a Grosvenor Road, Altrincham, WA14 1LA.
Open 11am-5pm Tuesdays-Fridays and 9am-5pm Saturdays.