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Knife crime statistics

Published Thursday, October 3, 2019

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.

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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.

Recorded crime

In the year ending March 2019, there were around 47,100 (selected) offences involving a knife or sharp instrument recorded by police in England and Wales. This is the highest number in the nine-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.

However, a review of recording practices has identified that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had been undercounting knife crime in the area. Excluding GMP data, there were around 43,500 offences recorded in the year to March 2019 - still the highest number in the nine-year series.  

Homicide

In 2017/18 there were 285 homicides currently recorded using a sharp instrument, including knives and broken bottles, accounting for 39% of all homicides – an increase from the 212 recorded in 2016/17.

Knife crime by police force area

London recorded the highest rate of 169 offences involving a knife per 100,000 population in 2018/19, an increase of 1 offence per 100,000 population from 2017/18. Gwent had the lowest rate of 24 offences per 100,000 individuals (up by 5 from 2017/18).

Proven offences and offenders

In the year ending March 2019, there were 22,041 disposals given for possession of a knife or offensive weapon. Juveniles (aged 10-17) were the offenders in 21% of cases.

Hospital admissions

There were 5,149 finished consultant episodes (FCE) recorded in English hospitals in 2018/19 due to assault by a sharp object. This was an increase of 2% compared to 2017/18 and 41% higher than in 2014/15.

 

Commons Briefing papers SN04304

Authors: Grahame Allen; Lukas Audickas; Philip Loft; Alexander Bellis

Topics: Crime, Crimes of violence, Offensive weapons

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