It is an invention so simple that it is hard to understand why nobody has thought of it before: a straightforward safeguard against drunken assaults by people armed with smashed glasses.
The new, safer version of the classic British pint glass – which designers hope will be in pubs and clubs across the country within a year – is inspired by the car windscreen. The glasses, unveiled yesterday, are injected with a strong resin which holds shards together when they break.
"Glassing causes horrific injuries and has a lasting and devastating impact on victims and their families, I hope these designs will bring an end to these attacks," said the Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, at the launch at the Design Council in London.
Government figures show there are about 87,000 glass attacks in Britain every year. Mr Johnson added: "Having that weapon in your hand is an enormous part of why these injuries take place in the first instance."
Two prototypes have been put forward for testing. The first design, called "Glass Plus", is a single layer of glass with a transparent coating of resin on the inside. The second, called "Thin Wall", has two layers of glass – one inside the other, held together by resin.
"All being well, we'll find either one of these two projects, or even both of them, to be the kind of glasses you'll get pubs and clubs not just in this country but around the world," Mr Johnson added.
The company behind the products, Design Bridge, hopes they will reduce the number of glass attacks which involve up to 1,000 young people a week and cost the NHS an estimated £2.7bn each year.
The company insisted that the glasses would be no more expensive than existing toughened glass models.Reuse content