Dutch forensic institute launching knives database to help with stabbing investigations
The Netherlands Forensic Insitute (NFI) has launched a knife database to better investigate stabbings. Similar to the already existing firearms database, this one should be able to help identify what type of knife was used in a stabbing. The reason for the database is the increased number of stabbings involving young people.
The police do not have exact figures but say that the number of stabbings involving teenagers has increased significantly in recent years. As did the number of arrests. In 2019, the police arrested 33 teenagers with a knife. Last year, there were 355.
“We wanted to get a good overview of the type of knives circulating on the street,” Peter Zoon, microspore researcher at the NFI, said to NOS. “Because it’s only a matter of time before we see those knives in cases.”
The NFI, therefore, started photographing all knives seized by the police in Oost-Nederland last year and examining some of them in more detail. The forensic specialists examine the composition of the metal and the coating. “When someone is stabbed, very small metal particles and pieces of paint often remain in the body,” said Zoon. “Each type of knife leaves its own traces, which we can now compare with the knives in our database.”
So far, the database consists of about 900 knives. They range from kitchen knives like small pairing knives and large chef’s knives to folding knives and “Rambo” knives - large serrated weapons that are popular among rival youth gangs, according to the police. The NFI is examing whether it is necessary to add knives seized in other parts of the Netherlands.