TWO shops in Barrow sold knives to teenagers in an undercover sting run by police.

The stores, which have not been identified, were targeted as part of an operation aimed at clamping down on knife crime.

People are being given the chance to dispose of unwanted knives during a week-long surrender, named Operation Sceptre, to make the county even safer.

As part of the operation, police co-ordinated test purchases of knives and sharply pointed instruments by a number of youths across Cumbria.

“Police can confirm test purchases have been carried out in Barrow as part of Operation Sceptre,” a spokesman said.

“Among the results so far include the sale of knives at two shops.

“Further details will be issued at the conclusion of the operation.”

Last year, there were 153 crimes in the county where a knife or sharp instrument was used during the offence – down on 157 the year before.

Tony Callister, the official spokesperson for licensing at Barrow Borough Council, said there was a ‘need for some form of control’ in the selling of offensive weapons.

“I am all in favour of enforcing stricter regulations on showing ID across businesses which sell offensive weapons such as knives,” Cllr Callister said.

“I believe businesses should adopt a similar form as which requires all customers who look underage to show some form of identification.

“Equally shops should be provided with advice and education on the sale of offensive weapons too.”

Peter McCall, police and crime commissioner for Cumbria, said: “Knife crime is on the rise across the country and it is essential that the police and public work together to help reduce this.

“No one wants to see any of their friends, family, neighbours or colleagues become a victim of knife crime so I would encourage anyone who has a knife, with the intent to use or to protect themselves, to place it in one of the many bins that will be located across Cumbria.

“Handing over an unused knife could save a life – lets work together and make Cumbria an even safer place to live.”