A British judge has proposed a nationwide ban on “long, pointy knives” in order to solve the country’s soaring knife crime epidemic —and if that doesn’t work, he has suggested “filing down the points of sharp knives”.
Last week in his valedictory address, retiring Luton Crown Court Judge Nic Madge spoke of his concern that carrying a knife had become routine in some parts of society and called on the government to ban the sale of large pointed kitchen knives.
Latest figures show stabbing deaths among teenagers and young adults have reached the highest level for eight years, and knife crime overall rose 22 per cent in 2017.
In the past two months, he said, there have been 77 knife-related incidents in Bedfordshire, including three killings.
Telegraph reports: Judge Madge told the assembled judges, barristers and court staff: “These offences often seem motiveless – one boy was stabbed because he had an argument a couple of years before at his junior school.”
He said laws designed to reduce the availability of weapons to young would-be offenders had had “almost no effect”, since the vast majority had merely taken knives from a cutlery drawer.
He said: “A few of the blades carried by youths are so called ‘Rambo knives’ or samurai swords. They though are a very small minority.
“The reason why these measures have little effect is that the vast majority of knives carried by youths are ordinary kitchen knives. Every kitchen contains lethal knives which are potential murder weapons.
“Accordingly, it is very easy for any youth who wants to obtain a knife to take it from the kitchen drawer in his home or in the home of one of his friends.”
As a result – said the judge – the most common knife a youth will take out is eight to ten inches, long and pointed, from his mother’s cutlery tray.
He asked: “But why we do need eight-inch or ten-inch kitchen knives with points?
“Butchers and fishmongers do, but how often, if at all, does a domestic chef use the point of an eight-inch or ten-inch knife? Rarely, if at all.”
“Acknowledging that any blade could cause injury, the judge pointed out “slash wounds are rarely fatal.”
So, he said: “I would urge all those with any role in relation to knives – manufacturers, shops, the police, local authorities, the government – to consider preventing the sale of long pointed knives, except in rare, defined, circumstances, and replacing such knives with rounded ends.
“It might even be that the police could organise a programme whereby the owners of kitchen knives, which have been properly and lawfully bought for culinary purposes, could be taken somewhere to be modified, with the points being ground down into rounded ends,” he said.
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