Police Try To Reduce Domestic Violence By Giving Survivors Blunt Kitchen Knives

Blunt knivesNottinghamshire Police

Police in the UK are attempting to save the lives of domestic violence survivors by swapping their kitchen knives with blunt utensils.

Nottinghamshire Police is piloting the scheme in the hope it will help prevent partners attacking spouses in their own home.

It comes after increasing numbers of knife-related incidents in the home, with police claiming the new scheme could help save lives.

Blunt knivesNottinghamshire Police

The scheme has been criticised widely, with many referring to the decision as ‘ludicrous’ and ‘the dumbest thing’ they’ve ever heard.

However, the police force have defended the decision, insisting critics had ‘got the whole idea wrong’.

As per the BBC, the force’s new knife crime strategy manager, Supt Matt McFarlane, said:

It’s a very small trial, and it will always be part of a much wider range of measures that we are doing to safeguard and protect that victim.

We will simply have these as an offer to somebody in appropriate circumstances and they can have them if they think they want them.

We can debate something theoretically or from a psychological perspective all day long. Sometimes you need to try something and see if it works or not.

Blunt knivesNottinghamshire Police

As reported by ITV News, approximately 100 ‘no-point’ knives will be given to people who have either been threatened or attacked with a knife in the past.

Despite the insistence of the police that this a positive move forward, thousands have responded to the news with dismay and have voiced concerns the policy is irresponsible.

Dr Jessica Eaton, a specialist in interpersonal abuse, initially thought the trial was a joke, stating victims could be attacked with ‘anything’.

Dr Eaton spoke to the BBC about why she feels the move will only anger perpetrators:

What do they think will happen when the perpetrator finds the knives and asks what happened to the normal ones? It undermines the perpetrator from a psychological point of view.

It’s a huge red flag to them: ‘Who did you tell?’ It’s going to cause an argument. [The police have] not thought that through.

An estimated 2 million adults aged between 16 and 59 experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Many survivors of domestic abuse have since taken to Twitter to voice their concerns:

However, one domestic abuse survivor told the Nottingham Post the idea was ‘100 per cent positive’.

Fiona McCulloch explained having a blunt knife in her situation ‘would have taken that risk away’.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership with Women’s Aid and Refuge) on 0808 2000 247.