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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Engineers assess force applied during glass-bottle stabbings

The Engineer
July 21, 2011
Engineers at Leicester University have created a way of measuring how much force is applied during a stabbing using a broken bottle.

According to a statement, the university team has conducted a systematic study of the force applied during a stabbing and come up with the first set of penetration force data for broken glass bottles. This work, which is expected to have significant implications for legal forensics, has been published in the International Journal of Legal Medicine.

In approximately 10 per cent of all assaults resulting in treatment in Britain’s emergency units, glasses and bottles were reportedly used as weapons. UK estimates suggest that a form of glass is used as a weapon in between 3,400 and 5,400 offences per year. There is said to be little understanding of how much force is required to create the injuries as, until now, there have been no systematic studies of how much force is required to penetrate skin with such weapons.

The study has also revealed that carrying out reconstructions of glass-bottle stabbing incidents can be unreliable and may lead to a misleading approximation of force involved as glasses and bottles fracture to leave a unique stabbing surface of sharp and blunt points. This could have implications for not only those in the field of forensics but also for anyone involved in a stabbing incident.
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