House of Commons Library

Knife crime statistics

Published Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The issue of knife related crime continues to be high on the political agenda due to a series of tragic knife related incidents. This note summarises the available statistics relating to knife crime.

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During the year to June 2012 there were approximately 29,613 recorded offences involving knives or other sharp instruments, accounting for 7% of selected offences, a similar proportion to previous years. The number of knife offences recorded was 9% lower than in the preceding year.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSES) in 2011/12 a knife was used in 6% of all incidents of violence experienced by adults, similar to the previous year’s proportion

Over the year to the end of June 2012 there were 19,382 disposals given for possession of a knife or offensive weapon. • Juveniles (aged 10-17) were the offenders in 17% of cases. The custody rate was 10% for juveniles and 28% for adults.

A Court of Appeal judgement in May 2008 said that magistrates should normally sentence those convicted of knife crime possession offences at the top end of the range. Following this custody rates and average custodial sentence lengths have risen.

• NHS data suggests there were 4,490 people admitted to English hospitals in 2011/12 due to assault by a sharp object. The lowest level since 2002/03.

Commons Briefing papers SN04304

Author: Gavin Berman

Topics: Crime, Crimes of violence, Offensive weapons

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