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Major increases in violence across English and Welsh counties with large jumps in the use of both knives and guns

ITV News analysis shows major increases in violence across English and Welsh counties with large jumps in the use of both knives and guns since 2013.

Ahead of the latest crime statistics being released by the Office for National statistics later this week, analysis of House of Commons figures shows large increases in violence in shire counties - counties that are not home to major cities - have gone up.

Senior police officers in Bedfordshire speaking to ITV News attributed the increase in violence to the rise in county lines drug gangs exporting the sale of drugs out of cities and into the surrounding more rural areas.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Lay told ITV News: "We are seizing more firearms than probably any other force certainly in the region.

"Certainly over the last few years we have seen a significant level, an increase, in violence across Bedfordshire.

"We're funded as a rural force, and it makes it really challenging to try and meet the demands we are facing - in terms of not only our own home grown gangs but also our county lines and the gangs we are exporting to other areas."

Gun and knife crime has increased by 70% since 2013 in Bedfordshire.

Analysis by ITV News shows that since 2013/14, Norfolk has seen the greatest increases in both knife and gun crime.

In that time there has been an increase of 1,380% - from four fire arms offences in 2013 to 66 in 2016/17, the last year for which figures are available.

Norfolk also saw an increase in knife crime offences - an increase of 268%. In 2013 there were 85 incidents. This rose to 318 cases in the figures to 2017.

ITV News spent time in the Bedfordshire, which has also seen a large increase in violence. Gun and knife crime has increased by 70% since 2013.

Police officers raid a home in Bedfordshire where they suspect an

Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire told ITV News that the nature of the violent crimes in the area were changing, and were very hard to police.

She said: "What scares me, what makes me really concerned, is that actually it is really spontaneous, and it is in public places. In broad daylight.

"And there is no thought, it is just so spontaneous. 'I've been upset', or 'I've got this problem with this person' and 'Boom!'"

"So in terms of policing it, it is really difficult to get that handle on where it's going to happen next."