Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Knife crime offences: What the latest figures show

Knife crime levels have risen but are still lower than they were before the pandemic (Yui Mok/PA)
Knife crime levels have risen but are still lower than they were before the pandemic (Yui Mok/PA)

Knife crime offences recorded by police forces in England and Wales rose year on year in the latest figures, but have not yet returned to levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some 48,716 offences were recorded in the 12 months to September 2023.

This is up 5% from 46,367 in the previous 12 months, but is 5% lower than the 51,228 in the year to March 2020.

These figures do not include Devon & Cornwall and Greater Manchester Police, due to issues involving the supply of data.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

There has been a “notable increase” in the number of robberies involving a knife or sharp instrument, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which compiled the figures.

These jumped from 16,746 in the year to September 2022 to 20,000 in the year to September 2023, a rise of 19% – though the total is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Knife-enabled homicides stood at 240 in the 12 months to September 2023, broadly unchanged on the 241 recorded in the previous year and also lower than pre-pandemic figures.

Some 5,459 offences classed as knife-enabled threats to kill were recorded in the latest 12-month period, down slightly (by 3%) from 5,641 in the previous year, but in both cases these figures are higher than those recorded before the pandemic.

The number of offences classed as “possession of article with a blade or point” stood at 27,846 in the 12 months to September 2023, up 4% from 26,903 in the previous year.

“This trend could have been influenced by targeted police action to tackle knife crime,” the ONS said.

Of the 48,716 knife crime offences in the year to September 2023, 29% (13,957) were recorded by the Metropolitan Police, 11% (5,239) by West Midlands Police, and 5% (2,373) by West Yorkshire Police.

But when looking at the number of offences per population, West Midlands Police had the highest rate, with 177 per 100,000 people, followed by Cleveland Police (159 per 100,000), then the Metropolitan Police (158 per 100,000) and South Yorkshire Police (117 per 100,000).

More than half of police forces in England and Wales recorded fewer knife crime offences in the year to September 2023 than in the pre-pandemic year of 2019/20, including some of the largest forces such as the Metropolitan Police, West Yorkshire Police and Merseyside Police.

Among the 15 forces that recorded more knife crime offences in the latest 12-month period than in 2019/20 were West Midlands Police (4% higher), Cleveland Police (30% higher), Northumbria Police (43% higher) and the British Transport Police (99% higher).