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LAW ENFORCEMENT

Cutting illegal sale of knives on police 'wish' list

The police service is announcing a new partnership with online marketplace Wish that will tackle the sale of illegal knives in the UK.

The partnership will see Wish establish a procedure for the police to report products they’re concerned about to the company, with Wish committing to review all reports and remove any listings where the police believe that UK laws have been breached.

This follows Wish’s move last year to introduce new controls that prevent illegal knives from appearing in the search results of customers located in the UK.

The police have prioritised working with online marketplaces on this issue after it emerged that many of the illegal knives being seized by officers were originating from sellers based overseas.

Assistant chief constable Jackie Sebire, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for serious violence, said: “Officers have been telling me for some time now that the main source of the knives being used on our streets is online. It remains far too easy for our children to lay their hands on dangerous weapons. Enforcement alone is not the answer. While many of the weapons sold online from abroad are intercepted by Border Force officers, this partnership with Wish will allow us to cut off the supply of illegal knives at their source. Our hope is to extend the partnership to other online platforms in order to ensure a more unified approach towards tackling knife crime.”

Daniela Engel, UK country manager at Wish, observed: “Wish does not condone the sale of illegal knives on our platform and, for some time, we’ve been deploying measures to remove listings of illegal knives. We’re pleased to be taking this one step further by partnering with the police to react promptly to reports of illegal listings. We hope that other online marketplaces will join us in working with the police on this important issue.”

Wish connects millions of users with a wide range of merchants all over the world. It was the most downloaded shopping app in 2019, offering consumers a range of items from fashion and accessories through to consumer electronics and home décor.

Sebire concluded: “This initiative shows what we can do to prevent harm from happening in the first place when we work in partnership with socially responsible companies.”

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