Public fears over young people carrying knives in school and on the street could prompt new government restrictions, the Home Office says.
Home Secretary David Blunkett and Education Secretary Charles Clarke are considering moves to combat the proliferation of knives.
They include raising the age at which teenagers can buy a knife to 18 and introducing searches in schools.
The age limit would bring knives into line with fireworks and alcohol.
The Home Office said there were 272 homicides involving a sharp instrument in 2002/3 out of a total of 1,007 - up 4% on 2001/2....
They didn't specify what was involved in the other 73% of homicides, raising the question: will knife-control be followed by blunt-object-control?