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Knife Crime Hits Record High


Knife crime in Britain has doubled in the previous six years, rising above 50,000 incidents in a one-year period in England and Wales for the first time in the recorded history.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that in the year leading up to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s imposition of the first coronavirus lockdown, crimes involving a knife or a sharp weapon rose by six per cent, up from 47,388 to 50,019. This latest figure is more than double the 23,945 offences recorded in 2014, the point at which the general historical trend of crime falling went into reverse.

The report found that 44 per cent of the knife crimes (22,012) were violent assaults, and 44 per cent (21,961) were robberies, which rose from 18,518 to 20,196 in the year leading up to March of 2020

Homicides, in general, rose by seven per cent, with 695 people losing their lives in violent attacks. Figures from the Home Office revealed that during the same time period, there were 4,344 threats to kill with a knife, representing a 22 per cent jump over the year before.

Murders have not risen as dramatically as other crimes not because streets are getting safer, but because urban hospitals are becoming more adept at saving the lives of people who would have otherwise died of their wounds, even in the recent past. A 2018 study found that improving hospital care had the impact of converting hundreds of would-be murders into attempted murders or other lesser crimes instead.

The rise of serious, non-murder crimes illustrate that change. The latest ONS figures reveal sexual assaults with knives rose by over 25 per cent, from 156 to 196, however, rapes committed with knives fell by 8 per cent to 483.