A U.K. company is hoping to fight the country’s soaring rate of stabbing crimes by selling most of a typical knife — just not the tip.
Viners is poised to introduce a new line of squared-off knives in February in what it says is a “response to rising knife crime.”
The company says its Assure collection is designed to “reduce and prevent injuries, accidents and fatalities, whilst still offering the same performance expected of a standard kitchen knife.”
The Assure knives look exactly like typical kitchen blades except they don’t have the tapered-off point. Instead, each knife ends in a rounded-off square that looks a bit like a sperm whale’s head.
Viners will offer six different knives ranging in price from £3.99 to £5.99 ($6.81 to $10.21 in Canadian dollars). The company is also offering a four-piece set for £15.99 ($27.25).
Viners developed the new line of knives in response to the Offensive Weapons Act, a piece of legislation introduced in the U.K. last year that classifies kitchen knives as offensive weapons.
Knife crime is at historic levels in the U.K. There were 14,135 knife-related offences over the first nine months of last year, BBC News reported on Thursday. That was the highest number since police started compiling data on knife crimes in 2007.
Knife crime was already at a record high last summer, BBC reports. The problem garnered international headlines last November when a terrorist stabbing attack occurred on the London Bridge.
The Nottinghamshire Police Department came under sharp criticism last June after they proposed replacing domestic abuse victims’ knives with blunted blades, just to be sure they wouldn’t be stabbed to death by their partners.
Experts who specialize in domestic abuse issues were quick to dismiss the notion as ludicrous.
“If you are going to take knives, why not forks?” psychologist Jessica Eaton told BBC in June. “Because I work with women who have been stabbed by forks.”
Social media users appeared to have more positive reactions to the Viners blades.
“What a fantastic idea!” wrote Twitter user Jacqueline Gifford. “I hope other companies follow.”
Bishop Sarah Mullally of the Church of England hailed the knives as a “welcome initiative” in a tweet.
Viners described its new blades as an “evolution, not a revolution” in knife design, as it still sells a wide range of blades that have pointed tips.
Viners doesn’t claim to be the first company with a blunted-knife design, but it hopes to be one of the first champions of a new trend toward safer cutlery.
“We’re hoping this shape becomes the industry standard in the future,” the company wrote on Facebook.
“We’ll be moving towards this shape in our own future development too.”