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Rudd unveils proposals for new law to make online shoppers collect knives in person

Ross Thomson
Ross Thomson

Aberdeen MP Ross Thomson has urged Scottish ministers to follow the UK Government’s lead in clamping down on sales of blades to children and teenagers.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced proposals yesterday that would force online shoppers to collect knives in person.

Her intervention came after calls for action intensified following the fatal stabbing of Cults Academy pupil Bailey Gwynne.

His 16-year-old killer, who denied murder and was convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, ordered the knife from Amazon and had it delivered to his shed so his mother would not know.

It is already an offence to sell knives to under-18s but the planned measures would mean they could not be delivered to private property.

Ms Rudd said: “We are going to be consulting on new legislation so that people can’t buy knives online without having their identity checked.

“At the moment you have to do it by the click of a button. What we are proposing is that if you want to buy a knife online it has to be collected from a place where you have to show your ID.”

The Home Office confirmed the measures would only apply in England and Wales, but added that further details would be worked out in the consultation.

Welcoming the proposals, Mr Thomson, who represents the south of the city, said: “A parent should know if they send their child to school they are going to be safe when they are there.

“It’s really important the UK and Scottish governments work together on this.

“I hope the Scottish Government will follow suit.”

A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed the justice secretary had written to the UK Government in January raising concerns about the online sale of knives and the need for a “joined up approach” to address these.

He added: “The UK Government has committed to working with the Scottish Government on these issues and we would expect to be fully involved as this important proposal is further developed.”

Following a review of Bailey’s death, Scottish Education Secretary John Swinney rejected a recommendation to give teachers a statutory power to search pupils without permission.

But he agreed to take forward the suggestion that the government seek “further legislative controls”, hence the contact with UK ministers to seek a “UK-wide approach”.

It is understood the Scottish Government has not published any proposals of its own since then.

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