The number of offences involving knives is at the highest level in a decade, according to statistics released today.
Some 22,300 knife crime offences were dealt with by the criminal justice system in the year ending September 2019. This is 3% higher than the previous year. The figures cover England and Wales.
71% of the 22,300 offences involved first-time offenders. But the Ministry of Justice says the proportion of first-time offenders is declining and is the lowest since 2009.
The average length of a custodial sentence handed out for knife crime in the last year is 8 months.
Recent police recorded crime figures published by the ONS also showed an increase in the number of knife and offensive weapon offences recorded. In the year ending March 2013, 15,699 offences were recorded compared with 38,692 in the year ending June 2019.
Responding to the latest statistics, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said:
“There is no evidence in this data that the government’s new approach to tackling knife crime is having a positive effect. The number of offences is rising while fewer offenders are facing jail, clear signs of failure.
“Rising knife crime undermines all the Tory claims on law and order. Unfortunately, until they tackle the crises they created through cuts to policing, schools, to mental health and drug services, there can be little confidence of any major improvement.”