There has been a dramatic rise in urban gun crime across the UK in the past 12 months, leaping by nearly a quarter in London, statistics reveal. The rise coincides with increases in stabbings, knife possession and serious youth violence – exactly one year after extra restrictions were put on police use of stop and search tactics.
The stark rise has sparked fears that gang activity is resurgent in the capital, follow several years of falling violent crime rates.
Just over twelve months ago, Home Secretary Theresa May unveiled a series of measures scaling back the way police can stop and search suspects, because of accusations that the practice was “damaging relations” between the police and “ethnic minorities.” Crime figures for that year have now been published.
Statistics reveal that gun crime overall, including possession of a firearm, increased by 12 per cent in London in the year to September, The Times reports.
The number of times a firearm was discharged in the capital rose even more dramatically to 352, an increase of 16.5 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.
Follows several years of consistent decline in gun crime, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said the figures were “of considerable concern to us.”
It was revealed just two months ago, in June, that youth stabbings had leapt by 18 per cent in just 12 months, prompting the Metropolitan Police to step up their use of stop-and-search in some heavily crime-hit areas.
The United Kingdom is not alone in witnessing a rise in violent crime. Startling rises in murder and violent crime rates have been observed across the United States over the past year, including in New York, Dallas, New Orleans and Baltimore.
Many commentators have blamed rising crime on American streets on the emergence of the “black lives matter” movement, and the police’s subsequent backing down in how they patrol and police America’s cities.