Outraged parents and campaigners slam Poundland for selling toy knives and meat cleavers
Parents and campaigners have slammed Poundland for selling realistic-looking knives and meat cleavers as part of a new range of toy weapons.
The budget retailer has brought out the £1 "glow in the dark weapons" in their stores in time for Halloween.
The toys include a realistic looking six-inch long knife as well as a terrifying looking meat cleaver.
It comes after the company was blasted for selling Halloween dagger sets complete with capsules of fake blood.
Outraged parents and anti-knife charities are demanding the toys are removed from shelves.
Patrick Green, of The Ben Kinsella Trust, said: “It is insensitive to the families given the grief that many families have suffered across the country and the lives changed by knife crime.
“These toys are not illegal and they are not breaking any laws but I would ask the store to reconsider their policy on stocking these knives given the epidemic of knife crime across the country in the last three years.
“Families across the country have suffered and anything that normalises the carrying of knifes is doubly unhelpful.
“For the meagre profit they are likely to make I would ask them to reconsider for the all these families.”
Mum-of-three Cheryl Andrews, 34, of Smethwick, Birmingham, was shocked when she found the toys for sale in her local Bearwood branch.
She said: “Knife crime in Birmingham is probably at its worst it’s been for years and you get Poundland glamorising knife crime for children?
“It’s madness. I’m all for kids playing but these knives are so realistic and are even marketed as weapons.
“I saw my three-year-old son holding one and for a moment I thought he’d actually got hold of a real knife.
“Poundland should remove these so-called toys immediately.”
Granddad Arthur Howell, 60, from Solihull, West Mids., said: “If I saw someone coming at me with one of these knives I’d think they were real.
“They glow in the dark so are quite obviously toys but they don’t look like toys in the daylight.
“I think the idea of encouraging kids to wave these knives and meat cleavers around is wrong anyway. Toys aren’t weapons.
“Poundland are being utterly irresponsible.”
Knife crime in the UK has risen by 22 per cent last year with nearly 40,000 cases being recorded - the largest ever annual increase.
Earlier this year Poundland stopped selling real kitchen knives in all of its 59 stores in the West Midlands in response to the spike in stabbings across the region.
A spokesman for Poundland said: "We share their concern on knife crime. That’s why no-one is doing more than Poundland.
"By the end of this month we’ll be the only high street retailer to completely remove kitchen knives from all of our stores nationwide.
“This, however, is just a glow-in-the-dark yellow plastic toy for Halloween.