Online auction service eBay is clamping down on the sale of knives on its UK site, after it was revealed that buyers can easily get their hands on illegal blades.

Research by the BBC's Watchdog programme showed it was possible for UK users to purchase disguised blades such as flick knives from international sellers, despite it being an offence in the UK to purchase or carry this type of knife.

"Trust is the engine of eBay and as the UK's number one e-commerce site, we know we have a responsibility to keep the site safe for our buyers and sellers. Although the UK site did not have any illegal knives for sale by UK sellers, it was possible for UK buyers to see or purchase knives from international sellers," said eBay.

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"As the world's largest marketplace we don't handle items directly, so we use sophisticated technology to help us identify high risk or illegal items. Safety is our number one priority and we recognise we need to do more to protect our members," added the online auction site.

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