This briefing paper summarises the available statistics relating to knife crime. Knife crime is a persistent and worrying concern, especially as it impacts particularly upon young people and the disadvantaged, and various remedies have been tried over the years.Jump to full report >>
Knife crime is a persistent and worrying concern, especially as it impacts particularly upon young people and the disadvantaged, and various remedies have been tried over the years.
In the year ending March 2017, there were 34,700 (selected) offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales. This is the highest number in the seven-year series (from year ending March 2011) the earliest point for which comparable data are available. This is directly related with improvements in recording practices.
In 2016/17 there were 215 homicides currently recorded using a sharp instrument, including knives and broken bottles, accounting for 30% of all homicides – a similar number as recorded in 2015/16 (213).
London recorded the highest rate of 137 offences involving a knife per 100,000 population in 2016/17, an increase of 23 offences from 2015/16. Surrey had the lowest rate of 4 offences per 100,000 individuals (down 2 from 2015/16).
In 2017, there were just under 20,982 disposals given for possession of a knife or offensive weapon. Juveniles (aged 10-17) were the offenders in 21% of cases.
There were 4,434 finished consultant episodes (FCE) recorded in English hospitals in 2016/17 due to assault by a sharp object. This was an increase of 7.6% compared to 2015/16 and 21.7% higher than in 2014/15.
Commons Briefing papers SN04304
Authors: Grahame Allen; Lukas Audickas