NFI creates knife database because of increased stabbing violence among young people

The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) has created a database for knives, the institute reports Tuesday morning. The purpose of the database is to conduct better and more targeted research into stabbings among young people. The NFI is very concerned about the increased possession of knives and stabbing violence among minors.

For years, the number of 12 to 18-year-olds arrested for illegal stabbing weapons has been increasing. This age cohort is also more often involved in stabbing incidents, in which knives are used that are explicitly designed to injure others or worse. “We are seeing bigger and bigger knives. These are, for example, knives with saw serrations, chopping knives and so-called Rambo knives,” says microspore researcher Martin Jansen, one of the initiators of the NFI database. “These are not knives that you find in the kitchen drawer.” The largest knife received by the NFI was more than half a meter in length.

With the database, the NFI hopes to be able to conduct more targeted research into future stabbing incidents, especially those in which no weapon was found. Each type of knife leaves a different type of trace, which is often small pieces of paint or metal that remain in the body. Jansen says that with the collected information he can provide better evidence in criminal cases. “What is the probability that a certain type of knife was used compared to other knives?” The hope is also that certain types of knives or specific decorations can be linked to certain gangs, which can improve the investigation for the police.

Read also: Who kills, scores in drill rap

Status symbol

Police portfolio holder for Health and Safety Martin Sitalsing shares the NFI’s concerns about the increase in the possession of prohibited knives among young people. According to him, the police are also concerned about the ease with which the deadly and prohibited stabbing weapons can be purchased via the internet, often for an amount of a few tens. Sitalsing also warns that the knives can be a status symbol for young people, which is often shown off on social media.

The reason for creating the database was the infamous stabbing incident on the Scheveningen pier in the summer of 2020. Then a 19-year-old man was stabbed to death during an armed confrontation between two rival drillrap groups. The knives that the NFI has investigated over the past two years have been seized during searches or hand-in actions in the east of the Netherlands. Normally those stabbing weapons are destroyed.

Leave a Comment