Knife and offensive weapon offences have risen in the UK to their highest level in nearly a decade, figures published by the Ministry of Justice have revealed.
The stats show there were 22,041 knife and weapon offences in the year ending March 2019, representing an increase of 34 percent since 2015, when the total was 16,438, and the highest rate since 2010, when the figure was 23,667.
🇬🇧: Knife & offensive weapon offences have reached their highest level for decade in England & Wales— Intelligence Fusion - Europe (@IF_Europe) June 13, 2019
- MoJ figures for England & Wales show there were 22,041 offences in the year ending March 2019.@IntellFusion #knifecrime #Security #digital #LondonTechWeek pic.twitter.com/qsq45NiG5F
The number of juvenile offenders convicted or cautioned for possession or threats using a knife or offensive weapon increased by 48 percent between March 2015 and March 2019.
The increase in adult offenders over the same period was 31 percent - adult offenders still accounted for 74 percent of the total increase in cautions and convictions during the period. There was also an increasing number of repeat offenders, with the proportion of offenders with a previous knife or offensive weapon offence rising to 28 percent, the highest level since 2009, when it was 20 percent.
In March, over 10,000 knives were seized and 1,372 suspects arrested during a week-long knife crime crackdown - officers carried out 3,771 weapons searches, during which 342 knives were found and 10,215 were handed in as part of amnesties.
The number of juvenile offenders convicted or cautioned for possession or threats using a knife or offensive weapon increased by 48 percent between the year ending March 2015 and the year ending March 2019. The figures also indicated an ever-rising number of repeat offenders - offenders with a previous knife or offensive weapon offence rose to 28 percent, the highest level since 2009, when it was 20 percent.
Justice Minister Robert Buckland claimed the figures show “if you’re caught carrying a knife you’re more likely to be sent to prison – and for longer – than at any time in the last decade”.
“But we are doing more – the government’s Offensive Weapons Act will make it harder for young people to buy knives and help the police target those most at risk of being drawn into serious violence,” he added.
In March, over 10,000 knives were seized and 1,372 suspects arrested during a week-long countrywide knife crackdown, with officers carrying out 3,771 weapons searches - 342 knives were found and 10,215 were handed in via amnesties.Knife and offensive weapon offences reach highest level for decade