Officials have expressed their pleasure as a joint Derbyshire police and Derby City Council test purchasing operation produced positive results.

Last week on Thursday 15th February, police officers again joined forces with Derby City Council Trading Standards to test whether stores in the city centre would sell a knife to a child under 18.

The measure followed a similar operation in November last year when on five occasions knives were sold to a young person under the age of 18.

On this occasion, ten shops were tested and they all refused to sell the knife apart from one and all the five shops that failed back in November refused the sale this time.

The operation is one of the steps taken in Project Zao, an initiative that aims to discourage young people in Derbyshire from carrying knives and last week’s actions were taken as part of the national Operation Spectre.

Asaf Afzal, Derby City Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection said: “I am delighted to see such an improvement since the last exercise we carried out with the police.

“Partnership working is key in keeping the people of Derby safe, and seeing everyone’s hard work payoff is really exciting.

“Of course, there is always more work to be done, but we look forward to continuing our work together, and seeing Derby reap the benefits of that.”

Inspector Rich Keene, from Derbyshire police, said:

“The results were very pleasing, we have been working with retailers to remind them of their legal responsibility not to sell knives to children under 18.

“We took the decision after November’s operation to work further with those retailers who failed the test to educate them in the dangers of selling to young people. We promised that they would be tested again and it is great to see that they have taken our advice on board. We will now follow this process with the management of the shop that failed on this occasion.”


It is an offence to sell a knife, knife blade, razor, axe or other article which has a blade or is sharply pointed to anyone under 18.

If you have any concerns about knifes being sold or would like some advice please contact your local Safer Neighbourhood team on 101 or send them a message online by visiting the Contact Us section of our website

You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting