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East Anglia Future 50

Boss fears for future of business if 'insane' knives crackdown bill gets go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 11:05 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:43 17 July 2018

Harriet Hayward-Reeve, managing director of Kin Knives

Harriet Hayward-Reeve, managing director of Kin Knives

Rebecca Murland

A Suffolk business boss is lobbying against a proposed new law on knives which she fears could have a serious impact on her business.

Harriet Hayward-Reeves, managing director of Rendlesham-based Kin Knives, which sells Japanese kitchen knives through its website and at trade shows, fears a crackdown on the carrying illegal knives through a new offensive weapons bill, announced in June, would threaten her business model.

The firm, trading since 1994, relies on mailing the packaged knives to customers, but this could be put in jeopardy by the bill, she says.

“My products are safely and securely stored and distributed from my small business unit in Rendlesham. The new proposed legislation will make it illegal for me to post knives directly to the homes of my customers and will severely threaten the viability of my business, and many others including my father’s tool business,” she said.

She has written to Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey voicing her concerns over the planned legislation, announced by home secretary Sajid Javid, calling for the removal of an article of the bill which she fears would hit her business. She is also encouraging others to sign a petition, which has collected nearly 20,000 signatures, against what campaigners claim is a “misinformed proposal which is at best misguided and at worst dangerous”.

The petition has until December of this year to run. If it attracts more than 100,000, then it will be considered for debate in parliament. “I have spoken with a lot of my friends and colleagues within the food industry and all of them agree it is insane to restrict chefs in the availability of their tools as well as home cooks who want a knife delivered to their house,” she said.

Essex turkey entrepreneur Paul Kelly, of Kelly Turkeys at Danbury, described it as an “absurd” proposal. “I can understand the banning the sale of guns as they are not needed in any way to carry out a normal life, but knives? While they can be an offensive weapon in the hands of the wrong people, they are also a crucial piece of equipment for most, if not all, of the population. Knives can be made very easily. Maybe we will soon be restricting the sale of steel that they are made from. This is the nanny state going too far,” he said.

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