Sale of prohibited items on search services

Published: 18 September 2023
Last updated: 18 September 2023

This research report provides an evidence base regarding the prevalence and ease of access to content that contains an apparent offer to sell or supply a range of potentially prohibited items or articles across four categories: knives and bladed weapons, firearms, controlled drugs and psychoactive substances. It focuses on potentially prohibited content that is accessible via online search services.

Ofcom has carried out this research as part of our work to build our evidence base as we prepare to implement the new online safety laws. The findings should not be considered a reflection of any final policy position that Ofcom may adopt when we take up our role as the online safety regulator.


Prevalence of potentially prohibited items on search services (PDF, 2.7 MB)

Back to top