TWO chain stores in Oxfordshire sold knives to children, a county council investigation found.

The council’s trading standards teams sent test purchasers into shops as part of a countywide exercise undertaken during the 2018/19 financial year.

One of the retailers remains under investigation.

The other showed it had taken ‘all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid selling to an underage person’ so had committed no offence.

Both shops sold the knives at stores in Banbury in March.

READ MORE: Four retailers ‘sold knives to under-age children 15 times during test sales’

The visits were as part of a countywide operation that included 42 businesses, all of which received an ‘advisory visit’ from trading standards before test purchases were made.

A council spokesman said: “During Oxfordshire County Council trading standards’ under aged test purchasing of knives exercise, two sales were made to the test purchaser.

“Both sales were by national, multi-outlet retailers. One sale has been fully investigated and as a result the business was able to show that it had taken all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid selling to an underage person, therefore had committed no offence.

“The circumstances of the second sale are still under active investigation.

“As a result of the above, we do not feel it appropriate to publicly identify the two businesses at this time.”

The council’s audit and governance committee will be presented with the findings on Wednesday.

It will hear trading standards made 12 formal visits to businesses and executed six warrants at homes over the last year and a half. As a result, officers have seized a total of 83,655 illegal cigarettes.

The council also seized another 16.15kg of illegal hand-rolling tobacco.

Further to that, a car was impounded by HMRC as part of an operation led by trading standards.

Four people have been prosecuted, with sentences totalling 12 months.