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  1. ITV Report

Knife crime in England and Wales increases by 22%

Knife crime in England and Wales has risen by 22% in the last year, new figures show.

Police-recorded offences involving knives or other sharp instruments increased by 22% year-on-year in England and Wales in 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

There were 39,598 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in 2017, a 22% increase compared with the previous year (32,468), and the highest number registered since comparable records started in 2010.

As well as knife crime, offences involving firearms also increased in 2017, rising by 11% to 6,604 recorded crimes.

Both types of violent crime were concentrated in London and other metropolitan areas, but most police forces saw increases in them.

39,598
offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in 2017, a 22% increase compared with 2016.
Firearms offences increased by 11% and they were largely concentrated in metropolitan areas. Credit: PA

Last year also saw increases in murder, with an increase of nine percent or 54 more killings to a total of 653.

"We have seen an increase in the relatively rare, but 'high harm' violent offences such as homicide, knife crime and gun crime, a trend that has been emerging over the previous two years," ONS statistician Alexa Bradley said.

She continued: "We have also seen evidence that increases in some types of theft have continued, in particular vehicle-related theft and burglary."

6,604
recorded firearms offences in 2017, an 11% increase on 2016.

In the overall category of "violence against the person", there were 1.3 million crimes logged, a rise of a fifth on the number in 2016.

Recorded burglary and robbery offences went up by 9% and 33% respectively, while the separate Crime Survey for England and Wales showed a 17% jump in vehicle thefts.

There were 1.3 million 'violence against the person' crimes logged. Credit: PA

In total, police recorded 5.4 million offences, a 13% year-on-year rise.

According to the crime survey, which the ONS says is the most reliable indicator of long-term trends in the most common types of offending experienced by the general population, there were an estimated 10.6 million incidents of crime, a fall of 7% on the previous 12 months.

The number of violent offences as measured by the CSEW was unchanged, at 1.2million.

"Today's figures show that, for most types of offence, the picture of crime has been fairly stable, with levels much lower than the peak seen in the mid-1990s," Ms Bradley said.

"Eight in 10 adults had not experienced any of the crimes asked about in our survey in the latest year."

653
murders happened in 2017, an increase of nine percent or 54 more killings than in 2016.

Earlier this month, Home Secretary Amber Rudd launched a multi-pronged strategy to tackle serious violence.

But the blueprint - unveiled against a backdrop of mounting calls for action following a flurry of killings in London - was overshadowed by a fresh row over police numbers.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "These statistics show once again that crime, and violent crime in particular, is rising at an unacceptably high rate across the whole of England and Wales, including London.

"This is clearly a national problem that requires national solutions from the Government."