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Violent Crime Soars 19% in England and Wales in One Year, 112 Knife Crimes a Day

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 05: A forensic tent covers the scene where a man, aged 20, collapsed after being fatally stabbed last night near Link Street, Hackney, on April 5, 2018 in London, England. The man approached police officers and was given first aid at the scene but later died. …
Christopher Furlong/Getty
OLIVER JJ LANE

Violent crime across England and Wales has risen by one fifth in one year, the latest figures show.

The new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that in the year ending December 2018 violent crime rose by almost a fifth — 19-per-cent — with 1.6 million incidents reported, compared to 1.35 million the year before.

The numbers show that possession of bladed objects, incidents involving knives, robberies, and homicides all rose across the period.

Among the breakdown of the figures was a rise in knife crime, which itself was up six-per-cent, the highest level since comparable records began, with 40,829 incidents reported across England and Wales involving a knife or sharp object, an average of 112 every day.

Possession of a bladed or pointed object was up significantly, rising 20-per-cent to 20,958 recorded cases in the year.

Homicides were up in the year by six-per-cent to 732, their highest for a decade with four-in-ten involving a knife or sharp instrument. These figures do factor in the Manchester and London terrorist attacks from 2017, however. If those terror-related deaths are removed from the statistics, the rise in the number of homicides from 2017 to 2018 jumps to 12-per-cent.

There was also an 11-per-cent increase in robberies across the period.

In terms of the breakdown of locations, Merseyside saw the highest rise in knife-related crime. Wales was also badly affected with North Wales, South Wales and Dyfed Powys making up three of the top five areas to see the largest increase in knife-related crime.

London remains top in terms of overall figures, with 166 reported incidents of knife-related crime per 100,000 people. This is compared to the lowest on the list, Surrey, with only 5 instances per 100,000.

The latest statistics follow London-only figures from early April which claimed an average of 40 knife related incidents in the city every day, and a fatal stabbing every four days.

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