Knife crime has doubled in just six years despite significant Government intervention, a major study has revealed.
The newly published figures, covering the year to March 2020, show that offences involving knives or sharp instruments (but not knife possession offences) have risen above 50,000 for the first time.
This represents a six per cent rise compared to the previous 12 months, and double that compared to six years ago.
Of these offences, 22,012 (44 per cent) were for assault with injury or assault with intent to cause serious harm and 21,961 (44 per cent) were for knives and sharp instruments used in a robbery.
A knife or sharp instrument offence is defined as an event “involving a knife or sharp instrument when the weapon is present during the offence or the threat is believed to be real”.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), who produced the report, the rising figures “largely reflect” a real rise in the occurrence of knife crime, rather than improvements in the way data is recorded – although this could still be a small factor.
Commenting on the data, the ONS said: “The past six years have seen a rise in the number of recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales, following a previously downward trend.
“The year ending March 2020 was the highest number since the year ending March 2011, the earliest point for which comparable data are available.”
During the same reporting period, hospital admissions for assault by a sharp object decreased by eight per cent.
“Hospital admissions data capture the most serious offences, and for the large majority of knife offences recorded by the police the victim does not require hospital treatment,” the ONS said.
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