Beds, Herts & Bucks

Judge calls for rounded knives to stop stab deaths

Judge Nic Madge
Image caption Judge Nic Madge used his retirement speech to plead for kitchen knives to be rounded down to prevent killings

A judge wants the points of kitchen knives to be rounded and blunted to reduce the number of young men dying from stab wounds in street attacks.

Judge Nic Madge said ordinary kitchen knives were causing a "soaring loss of life", rather than more heavily regulated large-bladed weapons.

He was speaking at Luton Crown Court at a ceremony to mark his retirement.

Knife crime rose by 22% in England and Wales in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.

"Kitchens contain lethal knives which are potential murder weapons and only butchers and fishmongers need eight or 10 inch kitchen knives with points," the judge said.

He wants manufacturers to produce knives with rounded points for domestic use and those with points to be sold under strict rules.

In past two months in Bedfordshire, 77 knife related street attacks went through the courts, with three deaths and 44 injuries.

Major cities across the country have seen increases in knife crime,

Image caption Judge Nic Madge demonstrates how ordinary kitchen knives used in stabbing could be ground down

The government has launched a £1.35m advertising campaign on social media to fight knife crime using real life stories to target 10 to 21-year-olds.

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "I hope any young person who is seriously thinking about carrying a knife listens to what the implications can be."

Judge Madge has been involved in several high profile cases involving violence and knife crime.

"You will never get rid of stabbings. There have always been stabbings, there always will be stabbings," he said.

"All I'm trying to do it to reduce the numbers killed."

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