murder rate soars to 10-year peak
Official statistics reveal murder and manslaughter rates hit a 10-year high, rising from 655 in 2017 to 732 last year - a six per cent increase.
The figures do not include victims of terror attacks. Knife crime has risen to an all-time high. Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed there were 40,829 recorded offences in England and Wales involving knives or sharp instruments, up by six per cent on the year before.
The release of the knife-related incidents, which covers all police forces apart from Greater Manchester due to the way they record offences, comes amid a political row over cuts to police funding.
Figures show there has been a continuing rise in the number of knife-related incidents since 2011 - the year stats started to be complied in a unified manner.
Of all the recorded murders in the latest data, around four in 10 (39 per cent) involved a knife or sharp instrument.
Forces across England and Wales did see a two per cent drop in recorded incidents involving a firearm, to 6,525 offences.
Alexa Bradley from the Office for National Statistics Centre for Crime and Justice said:
“When we look at the overall level of crime, there has been no significant change over the last year."However, it is important to look at each crime type separately because the picture is very mixed. Even within crime types we have seen differences. Robbery and vehicle offences have increased whereas burglary has decreased. Lower-volume high-harm violence involving knives has risen, whereas offences involving firearms have decreased.”
Rape involving knives also rose; in 2017, the number of rape cases involving knives was 420, while last year this rose to 464 - an increase of 10 per cent.