Knife crime hits record high in England and Wales

Police figures show a 7% rise in offences involving a sharp instrument over the past year

Knife crime in England and Wales reached an unprecedented high in the year to June, increasing by 7% on the previous 12 months, according to figures.

Police-recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument rose to 44,076, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, the highest figure recorded since 2010-11 when comparable data began.

Almost half the offences were stabbings, 43% were robberies and the figures also included rape and sexual assault.

In the 12 months to June there were 235 knife murders and 412 attempted murders, while the total number of homicides recorded by the police fell by 5%, from 719 to 681 offences.

There was also a 14% fall in homicides where a knife or sharp instrument was involved, to 248 offences, mainly because of a decrease in London.

The data did not include Greater Manchester police (GMP) because of a “technical issue that resulted in previous undercounting of crimes involving a knife or sharp instrument”, the ONS said. GMP have subsequently changed their methodology and data from December 2017 onwards.


Joe Traynor, from the ONS centre for crime and justice, said: “While overall levels of violence have remained steady, the number of offences involving a knife has continued to increase across England and Wales.

“However, the number of homicides where a knife or sharp instrument was involved decreased, driven by falls in London.

“There is a mixed picture in the total number of knife crime offences across police forces with the Metropolitan police recording little change in the last year.”

Javed Khan, the CEO of the Barnardo’s charity, said in response to the ONS figures: “Knife crime is a symptom of a much wider, complex problem. Too many young people are suffering a ‘poverty of hope’, facing a future with no qualifications, no job prospects, and no role models.”


Nadeem Badshah

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Knife crime at record high as overall charge rate falls
Labour says decline in suspects being charged or summonsed is ‘indictment’ of Tory cuts

Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent

23, Jan, 2020 @12:41 PM

Article image
Violent crime rising in England and Wales, police figures show
Data reveals ‘small but genuine’ rise in gun and knife offences but overall increase reflects changes in recording practices

Alan Travis Home affairs editor

27, Apr, 2017 @10:01 AM

Article image
Knife crime in England and Wales rises 8% over year
Police record 43,000 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, official data shows

Amy Walker

18, Jul, 2019 @10:26 AM

Article image
Surge in knife and gun crime in England and Wales
Nearly 40,000 offences involve knife or sharp instrument, and homicides rise 15% to 688

Matthew Weaver

26, Apr, 2018 @9:22 AM

Article image
England and Wales see fewest prosecutions since records began
ONS figures also show an overall increase in recorded crime to 5.5m offences

Nadeem Badshah

17, Aug, 2018 @12:00 AM

Article image
Crime in England and Wales falls 16% to lowest level since 1981
ONS crime survey reveals 23% fall in violent crime, but separate police figures show 29% increase in rape

Alan Travis, home affairs editor

16, Oct, 2014 @12:08 PM

Article image
Warnings of 'public health emergency' as violent crime surges
Murders and knife crimes soar in England and Wales as police detection rate hits record low

Jamie Grierson Home affairs correspondent

19, Jul, 2018 @3:09 PM

Article image
Crime rise is biggest in a decade, ONS figures show
Police record 10% rise in crime in England and Wales, with 18% increase in violent crime and significant rise in murder rate

Alan Travis Home affairs editor

20, Jul, 2017 @11:49 AM

Article image
Homicides in England reach highest level in a decade
Figures show knife crime is up 6% and proportion of offenders being charged has fallen

Vikram Dodd Police and crime correspondent

25, Apr, 2019 @10:05 AM

Article image
Surge in stop and search in England as police battle knife crime
‘Deeply worrying’ rise over last two years in use of tactic by country’s biggest forces

Sarah Marsh and Patrick Greenfield

07, Jul, 2019 @5:00 PM