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    Knife, Offensive Weapon Crimes in UK Rise to Highest Level Since 2009 - Report

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Over 21,000 knife and offensive weapon crimes were registered by UK's Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England and Wales in late 2018, the highest number recorded since 2009, the UK Ministry of Justice said in a report on Thursday.

    The report is based on the statistical trends of cautioning and sentencing from October to December 2018.

    READ MORE: UK to Give Police Force $131Mln to Help Fight Surging Knife Crime — Treasury

    "In 2018, 21,484 knife and offensive weapon offenses were formally dealt with by the CJS. This is the highest number of offenses dealt with since 2009 (25,103)," the report said.

    In addition, the ministry noted that for 72 percent of the offenders, this was their first knife or offensive weapon possession offense. Also, offenders were now more likely to receive an immediate sentence for a knife and offensive weapon offense, compared to 10 years ago, the ministry said.

    On Wednesday, UK Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged to allocate 100 million pounds (about $131 million) to UK police forces in 2020 to assist them in their fight against knife crime, which has been on the rise in the country in recent years.

    Knife crime surged by 16 percent in London in 2018, according to figures released by the city's metropolitan police. In early March, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid met with police chiefs from various jurisdictions to discuss the growing knife crime trend, which UK Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick attributed to falling police numbers and budget cuts.

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    knife, crime, weapons, United Kingdom
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