Police recorded crime sees biggest increase in a decade

The volume of knife crime has hit a seven-year high as the number of recorded offences continues to increase year on year, new figures have revealed.

Oct 19, 2017

The volume of knife crime has hit a seven-year high as the number of recorded offences continues to increase year on year, new figures have revealed. There were 5.2 million crimes recorded in the 12 months to June – a 13 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure of 4.6 million, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This increase is the largest annual rise in ten years. The last three years have shown an accelerating trend in police recorded crime figures, from a five per cent rise in the 12 months to June 2015, seven per cent the next year; and now a 13 per cent increase. Although some of this has been attributed to improved recording practices, John Flatley, crime statistics analyst at the ONS, said there have been “genuine increases” in crime. However, the Crime Survey of England and Wales suggests there were 10.8 million offences in the year to June 2017 which represents a nine per cent reduction. Violent crime has risen by 19 per cent in a year, while offences involving a knife or a bladed instrument have increased by 26 per cent – the highest figure since March 2011. Firearms offences are also up by 27 per cent, driven largely by an increase in offences involving handguns and imitation weapons such as BB guns. A total of 38 of the 44 forces in England and Wales reported a rise in knife offences, with the Metropolitan Police Service accounting for 47 per cent of the increase. In June, London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched a £7 million strategy aimed at tackling the rising tide of knife crime in the capital. As part of the initiative, every school in London has been offered a “metal detecting knife wand” to be deployed at busy times of the day such as the end of lessons. Calum Macleod, vice chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the rise in violent crime shows why officers must be supplied with better protective equipment such as Taser and body-worn video. “I can see little chance of this sorry state of affairs changing anytime soon,” he added. “Every day officers set out to protect their communities from harm but every day their job is being made more difficult with cuts in funding and cuts in numbers but zero cuts in demand. Ultimately the public suffer, as the figures show, and their safety is compromised.” Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: “The Tories can no longer hide behind claims that crime is falling to justify their severe cuts to the police. “They have left our communities exposed, with police numbers the lowest on record at a time when forces are under unprecedented pressure from surging crime, an ongoing terror threat, and from covering for cuts to other services.” Sexual offences are up by 19 per cent, having seen year-on-year increases since the year ending March 2012. A total of 129,700 sexual offences were recorded in the year ending June 2017 – the highest volume recorded since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. And murder has increased by eight per cent, with 629 homicides recorded in the 12 months to June, excluding the 35 killed in the London and Manchester terror attacks and the 96 Hillsborough deaths. National lead for crime recording and statistics, Chief Constable Bill Skelly, said: “Today`s ONS figures show a 13 per cent rise in police-recorded crime and worrying double digit increases in violent crimes. I want to reassure people reading this news that the police service continues to do all it can to reduce harm in our communities. “Police forces with significant rises in knife crime, firearms offences and the linked homicides are doing their utmost to halt the supply of weapons and stop, search and arrest those who get hold of them. “But we`ve also got to address why people turn to violence; and particularly why some young people feel that carrying a knife will keep them safer, when it actually puts them at greater risk of being injured or killed. Policing is part of that effort, working with the communities affected, Government and organi

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