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Eight-inch knife sold to newspaper's 15-year-old 'shopper'

The Kentish Gazette splashed with a P1 picture of an eight-inch knife after it sent a 15-year-old into a shop to buy one during the recent nationwide knife amnesty.

The move was sparked after Kent Police revealed that almost 4,000 weapons had been handed into police stations across the county.

The Canterbury-based Kentish Gazette decided to test the merit of the knife amnesty, given that weapons were still freely available in city shops.

It sent a 15-year-old work experience girl, who attends a local school, into a shop stocking a range of dangerous weapons.

Five minutes later and with no questions asked, she emerged with an ornate hunting knife sporting an eight-inch blade.

She said afterwards: “I couldn’t believe how easy it was. They didn’t ask me how old I was and only asked in a jokey way whether I was going to do anything stupid with it.”

Although signs in the shop state that buyers must be 18 or over, the teenager was never asked for identification.

When a reporter contacted the shop, its owner insisted that staff usually demanded identification, but admitted that had not happened in this case.