Knife crime up by more than a fifth across the Capital last year

  • Watch Political Correspondent Simon Harris' report

Last year there were 14,000 knife offences recorded by the Metropolitan Police between January and Septmber according to the Office for National Statistics. That's an increase of 22% on the figure from the same period in 2022 - when there were 11,534 knife offences.

That's an increase of 22 per cent - up by more than a fifth.

The official statistics come as the Government has defended the fact a long-promised ban on zombie knives will not come into force until the autumn, a year after it was promised by Rishi Sunak.

Fresh legislation is to be laid in Parliament to tackle zombie-style weapons, with the ban due to come into force in September making it illegal to possess, sell, manufacture or transport the blades.

Labour has called the ban “too little, too late” and promised instead a wider crackdown on the availability of dangerous knives if it wins power at the next general election.

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged that a Labour government under his leadership would launch a £100 million youth programme to tackle knife crime.

Actor and knife crime campaigner Idris Elba has welcomed the Government’s action but expressed concern about the scope of the ban Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Hackney born Idris Elba has welcomed the new ban as a “step in the right direction” but expressed reservations about whether it will work as gaps remain in the legislation.

Last month he launched a campaign aimed at 'disrupting' knife crime in the UK.

“Unfortunately it doesn’t ban all knives, including swords. However, the significant step towards zombie knives and machetes is something that I think is really important,” he said.

“We’ve seen in the past that it hasn’t achieved… in fact you see knife crime rise in certain instances. But I do think there is a slightly more joined-up approach.”