A judge has called for a nationwide programme to round the points of kitchen knives, and for authorities to restrict the sale of chefs’ knives to professionals amidst surging youth violence in Britain.
Long, sharp blades are deadly and unnecessary for ordinary food preparation at home, Judge Nic Madge told Luton Crown Court last week, stating that a ban on kitchen knives would save lives.
“Why do we need 8 inch or 10 inch kitchen knives with points?” he asked, speaking at his valedictory address.
“Butchers and fishmongers do, but how often, if at all, does a domestic chef use the point of an 8 inch or 10 inch knife? Rarely, if at all.
“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,” he said.
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The retiring judge lamented that current anti-knife crime measures such as preventing the sale of sharp implements to minors were having “almost no effect” in limiting availability because kitchen drawers in households across the nation contain “potential murder weapons” in the shape of ordinary knives.
Filing down the points of blades could lead to a “substantial” reduction in the number of knife deaths in Britain, Judge Madge argued, noting that while any sharp edge has the potential to cause injury, “slash wounds are rarely fatal”.
In order to get a grip on knife violence, police should organise a nationwide programme at which “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”, according to the judge.
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Reporting there had been 77 knife-related incidents in Bedfordshire over the past two months, Judge Madge said only “a very few” of the blades carried by youths are so-called Rambo knives or samurai swords. They though are a very small minority.
While Judge Madge added that the majority of blades used in youth violence are borrowed from a parent’s cutlery tray, figures last month revealed that gun-free Britain has seen a massive surge in machete attacks.
Data uncovered via freedom of information requests showed an almost fivefold increase in the number of crimes committed with the broad, heavy, sword-like blades in just three years, with an attack recorded every 90 minutes on average in the UK last year.