FILE PHOTO: Earlier this year Poundland stopped selling real kitchen knives in all of its 59 West Midlands stores in response to the rise in stabbings in the region. Picture: Reuters

London - Parents and campaigners have slammed British store Poundland for selling glow-in-the-dark toy knives and meat cleavers.

The budget retailer brought out the £1 (about R18) fake weapons in time for Halloween, including a realistic knife and a plastic meat cleaver.

Patrick Green, of anti-knife group The Ben Kinsella Trust, said: "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."

And mother of three Cheryl Andrews, 34, of Smethwick, Birmingham, 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." 

Earlier this year Poundland stopped selling real kitchen knives in all of its 59 West Midlands stores in response to the rise in stabbings in the region.

A Poundland spokesperson said: "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 plastic toy for Halloween."