Pointless knife aims to curb stabbings
The knife debuted last month in Britain.
Jul. 07, 2010
A new “stab-proof” knife unveiled last month in the United Kingdom could help to curb stabbing crimes both in the U.S. and abroad.
The knife has a rounded edge instead of the traditional tip and a receded sharp point underneath. It is engineered to catch on clothing and skin but still slice through vegetables.
The design of traditional knives has been held constant for centuries, and British inventor John Cornock hopes to introduce his as a more intelligent and thought-through design for modern living.
Cornock has said he was inspired to create the knife after watching a BBC report on the high rate of stabbing fatalities in the UK. In the program, a doctor went so far as to say traditional long blade knives should be banned. Because of strict British gun laws, stabbings are a more common form of murder.
Stabbings are also common in the United States. In Missouri, 2,604 people were assaulted by a person using a knife or other cutting device in 2009, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center. There were 5,848 assaults with a firearm during the same time frame.
According to MSHP Cpt. Tim Hull said people often use knives as weapons because they are available and are easier to access.
Jan Billeb, executive director of the American Knife and Tool Institute, agreed with Hull.
“The majority of homicides by knives are done by kitchen knives, but the reason is that a lot of the deaths by stabbing are deaths by crimes of passion,” Billeb said.
The new knife would potentially reduce spontaneous stabbings where the use of the knife was due to such ease of access.
The new knife is supposed to do more than simply prevent stabbing. Because there is not a traditional sharp tip, the knife would hopefully reduce the number of accidental injuries. Cornock advocates that although there will never be a completely safe knife, his would not fall from a counter and stab someone in the foot, and Billeb agreed.
“The majority of people in the kitchen, if they cut themselves, it’s not with the tip,” Billeb said. “It’s with the blade because it’s while their cutting something.”
Cornock’s knife has been tested by Home Office’s Design and Technology Alliance, an organization that considers ways to redesign products in order to prevent criminal activity. They gave the knife “very favorable” results after conducting their experiments.
The new blade is set to sell for approximately $60 to $75, but the design could be mimicked for all price ranges of knives.
Billeb believes education on how to use knives, such as maintaining sharp knives and storing them correctly, is the best way to reduce injury from knives and said Cornock’s rethinking of a tool most take for granted is the type of creative solution that could reduce crime in the future.