Knife offences fuel UK rise in violent crime

Highest number of knife crimes registered since comparable records started in 2010

London: Violent crime in England and Wales is rising at an accelerating pace, according to police figures showing a 22 per cent increase in knife crime.

The figures for 2017 from the Office for National Statistics show overall crime has fallen due to a 28 per cent decrease in computer misuse offences.

But violent crime is on the up. Police recorded 39,598 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending December 2017, a 22 per cent increase compared with the previous year (32,468), and the highest number registered since comparable records started in 2010.

Gun crime rose at a rate of 11 per cent, but this was less steep than the 20 per cent rate recorded in the previous quarter.

There were also a 9 per cent rise burglary and a 17 per cent rise in car crime, but these were less steep than the previous quarter.

Alexa Bradley, from the ONS, put the figures in context, saying: “For most types of offence, the picture of crime has been fairly stable, with levels much lower than the peak seen in the mid-1990s. Eight in 10 adults had not experienced any of the crimes asked about in our survey in the latest year.

“However, we have seen an increase in the relatively rare, but ‘high-harm’ violent offences such as homicide, knife crime and gun crime, a trend that has been emerging over the previous two years. We have also seen evidence that increases in some types of theft have continued, in particular vehicle-related theft and burglary.”

The data for 2017 has been published against a backdrop of mounting concern following a spate of fatal stabbings and shootings so far this year.

Earlier this month the home secretary, Amber Rudd, launched the government’s strategy to tackle serious violence.

Underpinned by £40 million (Dh204 million) of Home Office funding and a new offensive weapons bill, the strategy set out a range of measures to bear down on the use of knives, guns and acid in violent attacks.


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