The shocking rise of Knife Crime in Britain is having a direct effect on the retail sector, it has been claimed, with world-famous Harrods of London being the first retailer to introduce Suits of Armour in its Autumn Collection.
According to official statistics, there has been a 158% increase in the number of knife-related attacks in 2008 compared to 2007, with many of these ending in pain. Several people have lost their lives, and the problem is threatening to grow out of control.
Experts say that a large percentage of the injuries sustained could have been avoided if the victims had been wearing a suit of armour, just like the mediaeval knights did. Chainmail could also have helped deflect blows and a 12-foot lance would have kept the attackers at bay, despite the fact that most High Street stores have banned them.
Harrods boss Mohammed al-Fayed has said that he fears for his life every time he goes out in public, and last week authorised the purchase of 10,000 suits of armour which retail at £300 apiece.
Initial response has been lukewarm, however, with shoppers mixed in their reaction to the ironwear.
Two who liked the suits, though, were Arthur Pendragon of Tintagel and his nephew, Sir Gawain. After trying one of the suits on, Pendragon said:
"Now canst thine evil dagger do unto me no harm. To Saxony, and thence Rome, that we may rid the world of infidels."