Two companies have been fined thousands of pounds for selling knives online to a child in Croydon following a council-led sting.

Tool Supplies UK Ltd and Inifer Potter and Son Ltd were each ordered to pay £10,000 in costs having sold cooking knives to a 13-year-old volunteer test purchaser working for the Council trading standards team under a false name.

The council also sent a letter in advance warning each of the companies that it would be carrying out test purchases.

Councillor Hamida Ali, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities, said: “Knife crime destroys so many young lives both in London and nationwide, and we all need to work together to stop children getting hold of them.

“Croydon Council’s trading standards team is leading the way by targeting online illegal knife sales to children, and these cases show how businesses across the country need to do much more to follow the law and keep young people safe.”

Under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, it is illegal to sell a knife, knife blaze, razor or axe to under-18s.

At Croydon Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Tuesday July 30, representatives the two companies pleaded guilty to separate offences of selling a knife online to a Croydon child.

Tool Supplies UK Limited pleaded guilty by letter to selling a precision knife to a child on November 21 2018 via third-party website

The court heard the company used age-checking software for online sales on its own website, but admitted it had not made sure that similar checks were used on the third party website where the knife was bought from.

Inifer Potter and Son Ltd, trading as Potters Cookshop, also pleaded guilty to selling a Stellar James Martin 20cm cook’s knife online to a child on 5 December 2018.

The prosecutions come as part of Croydon Council trading standards team’s lead role in a nationwide pilot clampdown against online knife sales to children, backed by National Trading Standards and the Home Office.