THE Home Office is to review the law governing the sale of knives after an MP and the Echo raised concerns over mail order catalogues.

Angela Smith, MP for Basildon and Thurrock, has been campaigning for rules to be changed after a constituent raised fears over youths buying knives from a mail order catalogue sent to local addresses.

The Echo reported the concerns raised by the resident in Bellmaine Avenue, Corringham, who pointed out the catalogue was offering a 13-inch “Lion” knife, a 12-inch “Wolf” knife and a fearsome looking samurai shark knife.

Mrs Smith was concerned youngsters could send off for the knives, with little or no checks taking place to verify the buyers age. But Home Office minister Vernon Coaker has written to Mrs Smith and confirmed her concerns will be looked at as part of a wider review into knife and violent crime.

In his letter Mr Coaker said: “We will look at the checking of a person’s age when buying a knife on mail order, as part of the wider strategy on tackling violent crime.”

The catalogue was distributed by a Liverpool-based mail order firm.

Mrs Smith said: “If a young person goes into a shop and asks for a knife, the shopkeeper can ask for identification, but I don’t know how you could check the age by mail order.”

She is delighted the law is now being looked at.

The MP added: “I’m pleased the minister will be taking up my demand to look into the sale of knives by mail order, as I cannot see how proper checks can be made to ensure the buyer is over 18.

“The publicity given to this by the Echo can only help in ensuring the Home Office reviews this matter.”