A phasing-out of traditional long pointed knives and a ban on online knife sales are two of the proposals in a National Knife Report being launched this week by Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards.
It hopes the recommendations will reduce criminal knife injuries and deaths, both in Staffordshire and potentially nationwide.
Staffordshire Trading Standards has looked at the possibility of introducing a safer knife design and at the role retailers and manufacturers play in tackling knife crime, and also conducted an online test purchasing exercise, with alarming results.
It found that knives are much more easily purchased by young people over the internet than in a shop: all but one of the knives ordered was delivered to a 14-year-old volunteer.
The four recommendations of the report, Getting to the Point, are: to provide training to retailers to boost control around the sale of knives, especially to under-18s; to ban online sales of knives; to work with manufacturers and retailers to introduce “safety knives” to replace long pointed kitchen knives; and to conduct research into other types of knives.
“We wanted to produce something that would take things to the next level and also address how we can work together with other agencies to help reduce and prevent knife crime,” said Cllr Carol Dean, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities.
“We’ll never be able to stop it completely, but we can certainly make it more difficult for people to commit knife crimes through the introduction of a safer knife and our other recommendations.”
Staffordshire County Council is now taking the report to the Home Office and hopes it will take up the recommendations.