British government to use shock tactics over knife crime

* July 13, 2008 - 11:25AM

Britain's government today announced new shock tactics to tackle growing concern about knife crime, including forcing young people caught with weapons to confront stabbing victims.

The plans would also involve offenders being taken to hospital emergency rooms to see people being treated for knife wounds, meeting the families of stab victims and prisoners locked up for knife offences, the Home Office said.

The measures, to be outlined as part of a wider crime action plan on Tuesday, are part of her department's response to a spate of horrific attacks last week that saw four people killed in London in just 24 hours.

There is also wider concern about the increasing number of teenagers killed by knives in the British capital this year and fears about a growing violent gang culture among the nation's youth.

Some 20 teenagers have been killed already this year, the majority of them by knives. Last month, two French students were killed in a southeast London flat. They had been bound, stabbed more than 200 times, then set on fire. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith rejected opposition calls for anyone caught with a knife to expect to go to prison, describing such a response as "simplistic" and "wrong" to think that punishment behind bars could solve the issue.