Knife crime in London has fallen to the lowest total in five years

·1-min read
Stock image (PA Archive)
Stock image (PA Archive)

The overall level of knife crime in London has fallen by nearly a third to the lowest total in five years despite the recent surge in teenage blade killings, official figures showed on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics said that there were 10,150 offences carried out with a blade in the capital in the 12 months to the end of March this year in the latest illustration of the impact of the lockdown.

The tally was 31 per cent down on the equivalent period a year earlier.

The main reason was a 42 per cent fall in knife-point robberies, which dropped from 9,570 to 5,495, as fewer people on the streets because of the coronavirus restrictions gave muggers less chance to strike.

There was also a 15 per cent fall in knife killings, which were down to 75 in the latest annual figures from 88 a year earlier and 535 fewer blade assaults causing injury or aimed at causing harm.

The number of knifepoint rapes only four lower, however, giving a new annual total of 109 such offences.

Thursday’s figures mean the total number of blade offences, which in recent times has peaked at more than 15,000 in a year, is now down to levels last seen in 2016.

But the success will be overshadowed by the 19 teenage blade deaths so far this year and fears that the end of restrictions will allow tensions that festered during lockdown to prompt continued violence despite police efforts to prevent it.

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