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UK lawmaker calls for knife database, GPS trackers

Scott Mann (Trewithen/en.wikipedia)
March 18, 2019

A conservative lawmaker in the U.K. suggested establishing a national knife database and embedding a GPS tracking system in all knives in an effort to reduce the number of crimes that involve knives in the UK.

The comment came on Thursday from Scott Mann, who represents North Cornwall. He tweeted, “Every knife sold in the UK should have a GPS tracker fitted in the handle. It’s time we had a national database like we do with guns. If you’re carrying it around you had better have a bloody good explanation, obvious exemptions for fishing etc.”

The comment came after the Ministry of Justice reported that 21,484 people were arrested or warned over knife crimes in 2018 – the highest numbers in a decade, The Evening Standard reported.

Mann’s comment drew ire from many, with some ridiculing him for the suggestion, and others approaching the idea with humor.

Later, Mann admitted that his idea may have had some flaws. He and Conservative MP Johnny Mercer made a video poking fun at the idea.

The video depicted Mercer entering Mann’s Westminster office, bypassing the sign on the door that says, “Ministry of Good Ideas.” Mercer asks Mann, “Scotty, how are you my friend? Apparently, you’ve had a good idea?”

Mercer read some of the tweets to Mann and the two laughed over the responses. Ultimately, Mann conceded that the idea had some issues, but reiterated the graveness of UK’s knife crime.

Mann said, “It probably was a bit of a s*** idea, right? But ultimately we have a problem and no one’s coming up with any solutions.”

Comments were plentiful of people sending pictures of their many kitchen knives to convey the dozens of GPS trackers they would need for such an idea.

One said, “I don’t think the main problem with stabbings is not knowing where the knife is.”

Comedy writer James Felton tweeted, “There are 66 million people in the UK. If every one of them owns just one knife that’s 66 million knives to keep track of.”

Officials have stepped up efforts to thwart the number of knife related crimes and Chancellor Philip Hammond said $100 million will go toward those efforts.