Offensive Weapons Bill

Written evidence submitted by Lawrence Taylor, Blades UK Ltd (OWB010)

I would like to submit the following to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee for consideration as in our field, ref the Offensive Weapons Bill section 15 .

I would like to start by saying we are an online retailer with 20 years online selling experience and have passed every a expert Trading Standards test purchase as we are a responsible retailer that has always put ID verification ahead of sales and ignored the poor advice by trading standards on how to operate age verification, you are probably not aware they advise that accepting visa is a way to verify a customer is over 18 which is incorrect with the prepaid cards on the market, sadly they have been no help to our industry.

That said, I am all for tighter legislation we only ask that it is reasonable.

My suggestions are;

To add an amendment that would allow ID to be checked on delivery to a residential address by a fit for purpose specialist courier service, we already operate such a specialist delivery service and could expand this to cover our industry, you could add conditions such as recording ID details, DOB and customer signature for a length of time similar to the legislation for air weapons currently in place. This is a viable solution and far less destructive than an unnecessary outright ban.

There are specialist companies offering ID verification at the point of checkout, you could require all online companies have third party age verification software incorporated into their website checkout process, I believe this coupled with the delivery service is iron clad.

To give you some figures, we see 4 purchase attempts by under 18’s annually, we use video verification of ID when needed so we are always 100% sure we are dealing with someone over 18, it is possible to run an online business and be certain your customer is over 18 when it is done correctly.

Could the committee consider the likely consequence of making a courier criminally liable for delivery of a bladed article to a residential address, they will likely decide the cheapest and perhaps only option is to up d ate their terms to prohibit carrying all bladed articles putting an end to most online companies and imports of any knives, I believe some enquires should be made to establish the likely courier response to the bill to circumvent such an outcome .

Thank you for your consideration.

Lawrence Taylor

Blades UK Ltd

30 June 2018


Prepared 4th July 2018