A senior Metropolitan Police officer has said that the weapons used in stabbings have got bigger, the injuries worse, and the attacks more “feral” in the past five years as London’s violent crime spree continues.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt told the London Knife Crime Summit on Wednesday that police officers were having to administer “trauma medicine” to stabbing victims who are increasingly being attacked with machetes and hunting knives.
“The violence is getting greater. If I was stood here five years ago, I would probably be talking about knife offences where there was generally a single puncture wound.
“We are now routinely seeing multiple stabbings. That is one individual stabbing somebody multiple times,” AC Hewitt told delegates.
Under Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan’s watch, London saw 4,000 additional knife crime incidents in 2016/17 — a rise of 31.3 per cent.
Machete attacks have increased by nearly five times in just three years across the UK, with an average of 15 a day in the country or one every 90 minutes.
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On the nature of knife attacks, AC Hewitt said the Metropolitan Police was “increasingly seeing group offending as well”.
“By that, I don’t mean there’s a group and one person is stabbing, I mean there’s a group of people who are all using weapons.
“Some of the CCTV footage that we see is shocking and quite frankly feral when you look at a group of individuals bearing down on another person,” he added.
There have been more than 80 homicides in London this year, and Mr Hewitt blamed the rising deaths on rising violence, noting that saving stabbing victims was often a matter of “luck” or down to the early medical intervention by police officers.
“I have large numbers of officers now all over London who are routinely administering what you would call trauma medicine on the pavement and on the street in London to people who have been stabbed. And then the work obviously of paramedics and the doctors and everybody else that comes in,” AC Hewitt said.
“But the more violent the offences, the more chance there is that somebody is going to receive a fatal wound and I think that is part of why we have ended up where we are with the murder rate.”
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The Assistant Commissioner also noted that the rise in violence in parts of London is linked to the illegal drugs trade, which has become more organised, “business-orientated”, and ruthless according to a London South Bank University report.
This formalisation of drugs distribution has resulted in what has been termed “county lines” – where London gangs are using drug mules to ship their product out of the city and to towns in counties outlining the capital, often using women and children because of their lower criminal profile.
Analysis reported by Breitbart London on Monday has found that there could be as many as 32,500 children aged 10 to 15 years old across the country who belong to criminal gangs.