Crime levels are now “stabilising” after decades of reductions, official statisticians have said, as new data revealed jumps in killings and knife crime.
In the 12 months to March, forces in England and Wales logged a total of 5.5 million offences in total, a rise of a tenth (11%) compared with the previous year.
Excluding cases linked to terror attacks and the Hillsborough disaster, the number of recorded homicides increased by 12% year-on-year, from 627 to 701.
Police registered 40,147 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year to March, a 16% increase on 2016/17 and the highest number since 2010/11.
Publishing the data, the Office for National Statistics said: “Over recent decades, we’ve seen a fall in overall levels of crime, a trend that now looks to be stabilising.”
Caroline Youell, of the ONS, said most people do not experience crime.
She said: “Today’s figures show a fairly stable picture in England and Wales for most crime types.
“It is too early to say if this is a change to the long-term declining trend.
“There have been increases in some lower-volume “high-harm” offences such as homicide and knife crime, consistent with rises over the past three years.“
“However, the latest rise in gun crime is much smaller than previously seen.
“We have also seen continued increases in some theft offences such as vehicle-related theft and burglary, while computer viruses have fallen.”