Offenders convicted of knife crime in the UK will be made to visit hospital emergency wards in an attempt to confront them with the reality of stab wounds.
The idea is part of a package of measures unveiled by Interior Minister Jacqui Smith in response to a spate of fatal stabbings: “There are younger people who are now carrying and using knives and therefore there are more young victims. And I think that that is a cause for concern. And I think all of us understand, whatever top level statistics might say, that this is a serious problem. That even if it isn’t happening down your street, makes you feel nervous.”
Police forces now say knife crime has become their biggest priority. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged to announce new crime-fighting initiatives this week.
Four fatal attacks in a single day in London last Thursday brought the total killed with knives in the capital this year to more than 50.
However, the authorities say that London is still safe for a city of its size, and add that the murder rate has not risen substantially year-on-year.