Doctors' kitchen knives ban call
Doctors say knives are too pointed
A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase - and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.
They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.
The research is published in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.
They consulted 10 top chefs from around the UK, and found such knives have little practical value in the kitchen.
None of the chefs felt such knives were essential, since the point of a short blade was just as useful when a sharp end was needed.
The researchers said a short pointed knife may cause a substantial superficial wound if used in an assault - but is unlikely to penetrate to inner organs.
Kitchen knives can inflict appalling wounds
The use of knives is particularly worrying amongst adolescents, say the researchers, reporting that 24% of 16-year-olds have been shown to carry weapons, primarily knives.
The researchers say legislation to ban the sale of long pointed knives would be a key step in the fight against violent crime.
"The Home Office is looking for ways to reduce knife crime.
"We suggest that banning the sale of long pointed knives is a sensible and practical measure that would have this effect."