After fallout’s for number of years, knife crime in England and Wales is increasing again. Therefore what is happening?


This is an 80% rise from the low-point in the year ending March 2014, when there were 23,945 offences, and also is the highest number because comparable data was compiled.

These statistics perform not include those from greater Manchester Police because of data record issues.

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Police figures are susceptible to changes in counting rules and methods, however data because that NHS hospitals in England end a similar duration showed an 8% increase in admissions for assault by a spicy object, top the Office for nationwide Statistics (ONS) come conclude there had actually been a "real change" come the downward trend in knife crime.

Doctors claimed the injuries castle were dealing with were becoming much more severe and also the victim were acquiring younger, with boosting numbers of girls involved.


All the the statistics below relate come England and also Wales. Policing, criminal justice and also sentencing room devolved in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which likewise collect crime data in slightly various ways.

In the recent figures, which include only selected knife offences, about half, 21,700, were assaults that led to an injury or whereby there to be an will to reason serious harm; a additional 20,172 involved robberies.


These figures focus top top homicides, or killings, a category comprising situations of murder, manslaughter and infanticide. In around two out of every 5 killings, the victim was fatally struck with a sharp object or stabbed to death.

The number of knife-related homicides walk from 272 in 2007 to 186 in 2015. Because then it's increased every year, with a steep increase in 2017-18, as soon as there were 285 killings, the greatest figure since 1946.

The figures likewise show 25% of victims were black - the highest proportion due to the fact that data was first collected in 1997.


Although knife crime is ~ above the increase, it have to be seen in context. It's relatively unusual because that a violent event to involve a knife, and rarer still for someone to require hospital treatment.

Most violence is brought about by human being hitting, kicking, shoving or slapping someone, sometimes throughout a fight and often when they're drunk; the police numbers on violence additionally include crimes of harassment and stalking.

The Crime survey for England and Wales, which has offences the aren't report to police, suggests that overall levels of violence have actually fallen by around a quarter since 2013.

However, the police-recorded statistics - which often tend to pick up much more "high harm" crime - have actually indicated that the most serious violent crime is increasing.

In the year come March 2019, 22,041 civilization were cautioned, reprimanded or convicted for carrying a knife in England and Wales, many of whom were adults. But one in 5 - 4,451 - to be under the age of 18.

In 2018, figures from the mayor's office confirmed that young black and also minority country teenage boys and also men were disproportionately affected, as both victims and also perpetrators.

The metropolitan Police cook Commissioner Cressida prick has said tackling violence in London is her "priority".

Next highest was the north West, v 93 knife offences per 100,000 population, and also Yorkshire and the Humber, 86.

The explanations for rising knife crime have actually ranged from police budget plan cuts, to gang violence and also disputes in between drug dealers.

The powers enable officers come search human being on the street if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they may be transporting weapons, illegal drugs, stolen residential property or items come be offered to walk a crime. People can additionally be searched there is no reasonable grounds if a an elderly officer trust there's a threat of significant violence in a specific area.

From 2009, the number of stops dropped sharply throughout England and also Wales, particularly in London, primarily due to the fact that of concerns that the actions unfairly targeted young black color men, wasted police resources and also were ineffective at recording criminals.

Theresa May, as house secretary, led efforts to drive down the variety of stops, but there's anecdotal proof from police the young civilization are now an ext inclined to carry knives due to the fact that of farming confidence castle won't it is in stopped.

The statistical basis for that is much from clear - yet Scotland Yard, through the market of London's support, has started increasing the usage of stop and search again.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said there is no "direct correlation" in between the climb in knife crime and a fall in police numbers, however the worry is contested.

In 2018, a home Affairs Committee report claimed police pressures were "struggling come cope" amid falling staff numbers and also a leaked house Office file said they had actually "likely contributed" to a increase in serious violent crime.

The mean prison term for those jailed for transporting a knife or various other offensive weapon has actually gone increase from almost five month to fine over eight months, with 85% serving at the very least three months, compared with 53% just 10 year ago.

Sentences for all kinds of violent crime have been obtaining tougher, specifically for knife crime. The ministry of Justice monitor the penalties imposed for those recorded carrying knives and also other offensive weapons in England and Wales.

In the year finishing December 2018, 37% of those encountered were jailed and a additional 18% were offered a suspended jail sentence. The figures for 2008, when the data was first compiled, to be 20% and 9% respectively. Over the exact same period, there's been a steady decline in the use of ar sentences, and a spicy drop in cautions, from 30% to 11%.

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Public anxiety about knife crime, legislative changes and firmer guidance for judges and magistrates have actually led to the stiffer sentences, although criminal under 18 space still more likely to it is in cautioned than locked up.

This piece was originally published in January 2018, yet is updated routinely to include the recent statistics.