Knives Disguised As Combs And Lipsticks Available For Sale Via Instagram

17 September 2019, 07:41

An LBC investigation has uncovered knives disguised as lipsticks and combs for sale via Instagram for just over ten pounds.

Promoted at young women and girls one looks like a pink plastic comb until you pull the top off to reveal a six inch knife. The sales description says, 'Self defence can be totally adorable'.

Another, looks like a lipstick until you take the lid off to reveal a claw knife. The lipstick knife costs £11 and the comb knife £12.

The two items were shipped from North Carolina through customs via Royal Mail to an address in London. There was no age or security checks when they were ordered or delivered.

The listing for the comb knife
The listing for the comb knife. Picture: Screenshot

LBC reporter Rachael Venables explains: "It took just a few minutes to buy both of these knives which were promoted on Instagram. Instagram takes you to a website which uses pictures of glamorous young women to promote the knives.

"To be clear on the law on these - It's illegal to import, buy or carry knives disguised as everyday objects."

Facebook, who own Instagram, told us: "We recently changed our policies to restrict all sales of knives on Instagram to people aged 18 and above.

"We have well-established relationships with law enforcement and we work closely with them to improve our detection and removal of illegal material."

A knife disguised as lipstick
A knife disguised as lipstick. Picture: LBC

Royal Mail delivered the knives and told us: "Where Royal Mail has any suspicion that illegal weapons are being sent through our network, we work closely with the police and Border Force to prevent such activities from happening."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Social media companies must not allow their platforms to be used to sell illegal weapons, and our Online Harms White Paper sets out plans to make it easier to hold these companies to account."

Knife crime is a major concern across the UK now, with 61 people stabbed to death so far in London this year. 18 of those were teenagers.

Last year in the UK, 573 teenagers were admitted to A&E after being stabbed.