Shocking new police figures show police-recorded offences involving knives or other sharp instruments increased by 22% year-on-year in England and Wales in 2017.
Police recorded 39,598 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the latest year ending December 2017, a 22% increase compared with the previous year (32,468), and the highest number registered since comparable records started in 2010.
Commenting on the knife crime figures, the Office for National Statistics said: ‘The past three years have seen a rise in the number of recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, following a general downward trend in this series since the year ending March 2011.’
Offences involving firearms were also up, by 11% to 6,604 recorded crimes.
These offences tend to be disproportionately concentrated in London and other metropolitan areas, the ONS said, but it added that the majority of police force areas saw rises in these types of violent crime.
Homicides in London have also risen by a staggering 44% from the previous year.
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The Metropolitan Police end of year crime statistics show homicides increased from 109 in the year April to March 2016/17 to April to March 2017/18.
Eight of these were as a result of the terror attacks that occurred at Westminster Bridge in March, London Bridge in June and Finsbury Park in June.
The figures were released after a spate of murders across the capital since the start of the year.
The number of homicides in London is still much lower than in 2003/04 when there were 205 instances.
Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, responsible for Territorial Policing, said: ‘The Met continues to experience a very busy and challenging time against the backdrop of significant reductions in resources. I am very concerned about the rise in crime in the capital, particularly murder, violent crime and knife crime.’
He added: ‘We are strengthening local policing by bringing specialist officers closer to communities, and have increased the number of neighbourhoods officers dedicated to particular areas to engage with the public and work with them to keep them safe.’