There has been a 22 per cent surge in knife crime and an 11 per cent increase in gun crime, with offences “disproportionately concentrated in London” and other cities, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has said.
The numbers mean knife crime is at its highest ever recorded level, and murders were also up by nine per cent in England and Wales, with a total of 653 recorded by police across last year.
Police recorded 39,598 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year up to December 2017 – up from 32,468 in the previous 12 months – and 6,604 firearms crimes recorded over the same period.
The ONS excludes terror attacks in London and Manchester and the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in their homicide figures.
Police recorded crime provides a better measure of the more harmful but less common violent offences. The latest figures show continued rises in knife and gun crime https://t.co/Ua78v92lcw pic.twitter.com/dJaqUSzVV8
— ONS (@ONS) April 26, 2018
There was also 438,971 recorded burglary offences, a 9 per cent rise in a year, as well as a rise in robbery (up by 33 per cent), and vehicle-related theft (16 per cent).
London Mayor Sadiq Khan was quick to jump on the statistics to argue the crime wave was not his responsibility, but a national problem for the government.
“These statistics show once again that crime, and violent crime in particular, is rising at an unacceptably high rate across the whole of England and Wales, including London,” he told Sky News.
“This is clearly a national problem that requires national solutions from the government.”
However, ONS data from January showed that knife crime was up by 38 per cent in London compared to 21 per cent nationwide.
Mayor Khan: ‘I Can’t Solve London Knife Crime,’ Blames Right Wingers https://t.co/92B7l2yrJW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 18, 2018
Furthermore, Metropolitan Police (Met) data also released this Thursday, showed homicide in the capital is up by a massive 44 per cent in the year up until March – many times the national rise over a similar period.
Killings rose from 109 to 157, but the Met’s stats do include the 14 people killed in the three terror attacks. Even without the terror attack, the rise is 31 per cent, more than three times the national rise over a similar period.
Overall, according to the Met, crime in the capital was up by 6.4 per cent – from 777,458 to 827,225 offences – with knife crime offences up 21 per cent. Gun crime, however, was reportedly down 4.6 per cent.
Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, responsible for Territorial Policing, said: “The Met continues to experience a very busy and challenging time against the backdrop of significant reductions in resources. I am very concerned about the rise in crime in the capital, particularly murder, violent crime and knife crime.”