Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Public Knife Block

  (+9, -4)
(+9, -4)
  [vote for,

In the UK we don't have a huge problem with gun crime, but the carrying and usage of knives is at epidemic level, especially amongst teenage gangs.

Amnesty schemes, where a secure receptacle is set up in a neutral environment to receive knives, have had limited success.

What is needed is a more public display to highlight the extend of the problem and focus public attention. This is the thinking behind the Public Knife Block.

The Public Knife Block, like the name suggests, is a large slab of metal, covered with thousands of slots into which knives may be pushed point first, just like an enlarged version of the familiar kitchen block.

Knives thus inserted cannot be pulled back out, because located on the inside of the block, behind each slot, is a set of non-return gripper jaws. The slots are all individually angled so that the protruding knife handles and exposed shafts start to build a pattern.

In time, as the pattern of knives develops, the entire block will begin to resemble the back of a spine festooned animal.

xenzag, Jul 09 2008

Knife block http://images.surla...detail/413419v1.jpg
[xenzag, Jul 09 2008]

Reads like guerilla journalism http://www.spiked-o...?/site/article/5441
but it's still interesting. [theleopard, Jul 09 2008]

14,000 stabbings reported http://www.independ...-a-year-860857.html
The Independent Newspaper is not given to tabloid exaggerations [xenzag, Jul 09 2008]

A problem http://www.guardian...ay/13/ukcrime.boris
Not an epidemic as the media would have you believe. [theleopard, Jul 09 2008]

Glasgow & knife crime http://www.independ...spirals-737329.html
"It is estimated that in the past four years the incidents of knife crime in Scotland increased by 350 per cent...." [Jinbish, Jul 09 2008]

"French Students' Slayings Shock London" at AOL News http://news.aol.com...0080708200109990001
250 wounds between them. Do they count as only two stabbings? [phoenix, Jul 09 2008]

Yet Another Violent Attack! http://www.metro.co...136434&in_page_id=2
...it doesn't usually make the front page in the papers. [Amos Kito, Jul 11 2008]


       Widespread media hysteria over knife crime is at an epidemic level, sure, but don't be swept up by the incessant reports of how our great nation is being stabbed into the dark ages. Statistics are warped to exaggerate the problem and politicians feed off our press-fueled fear in order to win votes and appear pro-active. It's no more dangerous in the capital now than it has been for the past 6 decades.
theleopard, Jul 09 2008

       There was a graph shown on BBC TV news yesterday, showing a decline in gun crime versus a rise in knife crime, but the overall number of injuries was more or less constant over the last ten years or so.
Bun anyway.
coprocephalous, Jul 09 2008

       From the guardian - "In fact, the most recent crime survey by the Metropolitan police showed that knife crime has actually dropped by 15.7% over the past two years, from 12,122 to 10,220 incidents."
theleopard, Jul 09 2008

       I'm not keen on highlighting a negative aspect of my home city, but Glasgow has a murder rate with knives (last year 73 murders in Strathclyde Police area, 40 of which involving a knife).
Jinbish, Jul 09 2008

       //What is needed is a more public display to highlight the extend of the problem and focus public attention.//
I disagree with this statement, adding hype to the hype isn't going to help anyone.

       These knives should be left where they belong, in the kitchen drawer - no need to build an elaborate sword-in-the-stone/hedgerow beast monument to our youth's collective herd-like mental attitude.   

       By raising the profile of a minority of idiots, we inadvertently encourage more stabbings.   

       Like [theleopard] I take issue with language like 'epidemic' - it's not, it's just a few shit kids, and a whole lot of newspaper coverage.   

       The hedgehog knife thing would actually be quite cool, but can we keep it in the kitchen please?
zen_tom, Jul 09 2008

       I'm not so quick to dismiss the issue. I agree that there is a media effect, but (certainly in the greater Glasgow area) the stats are there to be seen. If you look at the stats over a longer period of time you can try and mitigate for the peaks - but then you also have to add the great efforts by the police in cracking down on knife (and gang) crime.   

       Now saying all of that, I am not convinced that a hedgehog is going to help.
Jinbish, Jul 09 2008

       The stats are there, but they also show that the problem, such that it is, is rooted in teenage gang culture.   

       If it is an epidemic, then it's limited to affecting only a small (if vociferous) subsection of the population. Both the victims and perpetrators share this same demographic - which isn't to diminish the effect of stab-crime, it just puts it into perspective.   

       Hedgehogs aside, what's needed is some way to make gang membership less attractive in comparison to other lifestyle alternatives available to teenagers.
zen_tom, Jul 09 2008

       What you don't want is for a child to end up loving and revering the hedgehog, the admiration tragically concluding with an attempt to imitate him by having a friend plunge several knives into their back.   

       "I wanted to be the hedgehog Daddy... he's so brave... so brave..."
theleopard, Jul 09 2008

       //what's needed is some way to make gang membership less attractive in comparison to other lifestyle alternatives available to teenagers//   

       I think that they probably join gangs because the other lifestyle alternatives are not available.
nomocrow, Jul 09 2008

       *edited to remove all references to hedgehogs*
xenzag, Jul 09 2008

       Swords. Everybody should have a big sword. Really heavy. Too heavy to lift easily. This would stimulate the economy, and build muscle mass.
normzone, Jul 09 2008

       I've always wanted a sword - a cutlass would be nice, but having recently become a fan of George Macdonald Fraser's Flashman books, I'd quite like to get hold of a 1796 light cavalry sabre - a design that took more than a little inspiration from the Indian 'tulwar' that the British had found themselves facing during their adventures in the East.   

       The design proved so effective during the Napoleonic wars that the French complained specifically about its use, saying that it caused unnecessary mutilation.
zen_tom, Jul 10 2008

       // unnecessary mutilation //   

       How would they know ? The French are ugly to start with, anything that happened to them could only be an improvement ......
8th of 7, Jul 10 2008

       How are you guys gonna butter your toast once all the knives are taken away?
Noexit, Jul 10 2008

       we use our fingers
xenzag, Jul 10 2008

       These knife amnesties don't mean much. Pretty much everyone has a couple of knives in their kitchen drawer that could easily become lethal weapons. And no-one who feels the need to carry a knife around is going to hand in their last one. Why does the government do it? Because it takes very little effort and looks good.   

       The real solution? Lots of police and enough prison space to accommodate anyone sent down. Unfortunately it also an expensive solution. And it doesn't usually make the front page in the papers.
Bad Jim, Jul 11 2008

       I like this as public art. One would need to kick things off with the first few dozen knives, of varying type. I am a little unclear about the mechanism by which new knives are retained within the block but no matter. I am certain that this block would soon turn from serious public service message as it accumulated butter knives, plastic knives, grapefruit spoons and marital aids.
bungston, Feb 21 2017

       I was about to say what [Bad Jim] just said, a mere 9 years ago. It's a bit like having a string amnesty in an area where stranglings have happened.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 21 2017


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