A crime involving a machete occurs every 90 minutes in the UK, with over 15 incidents reported per day in the last two months of 2016, according to data cited by the Daily Mail.
The figures also reveal that gangs in particular are using these weapons to intimidate their victims in robberies and other crimes, but there has also been numerous incidents of victims and rival gang members being hacked to death by the large blades, which are quite easy to obtain in most of the UK’s major cities.
Earlier this year, in February, a 20-year-old man was killed by a group of machete-wielding attackers in London’s Belsize Park. Numerous similar attacks have taken part in the first quarter of 2018 outside of the capital, particularly in crime hotspots in the Midlands.
London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) launched a series of overnight anti-gang raids on April 11, making nine arrests, seizing two firearms and a kilogram of a suspected Class A drug.
Around 200 officers took part in the raids, which have been hailed as a “major blow” to the city’s MDP gang, which have found to be active in the drug trade and other illegal activity.
“They are very violent, several of them have a history of serious violence, at least one is suspected of regularly using a firearm. Not only have they been, as it appears to us, supplying crack cocaine and heroin, they have been making a huge amount of money,” Met police Commissioner Cressida Dick told reporters prior to the raids.
Critics argue that the government is adopting a short-term approach to the matter, when they should instead be reversing budget cuts to bolster police manpower and allow local forces to utilize proactive policing tactics.
However, the government has shrugged off these calls and has given no indication that it will reverse the austerity measures any time soon.