By Crimson Tazvinzwa
Knife crime, gun crime and the homicide rate have all risen further in England and Wales.
Offences involving knives or sharp instruments went up as much as 16 per cent to 40,147 in the first three months of 2018, according to police-recorded crimes published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Meanwhile the total number of homicides – which includes both murder and manslaughter – rose 12 per cent to 701. This excludes large-scale incidents such as last year’s terror attacks in London and Manchester.
There was a smaller rise in gun crime – up two per cent to 6,492 offences.
Caroline Youell, crime statistics and analysis at the ONS, said: “Most people don’t experience crime. Today’s figures show a fairly stable picture in England and Wales for most crime types. It is too early to say if this is a change to the long-term declining trend.
“There have been increases in some lower-volume ‘high-harm’ offences such as homicide and knife crime, consistent with rises over the past three years. However, the latest rise in gun crime is much smaller than previously seen.
“We have also seen continued increases in some theft offences such as vehicle-related theft and burglary, while computer viruses have fallen.”
Authorities feared a knife crime epidemic after a big rise in reported stabbings over the last few months – particularly gang-related incidents in London.
Six people were stabbed in London in less than 90 minutes on Thursday 5 April, with the youngest victim a 13-year-old boy who sustained serious injuries.
After the incidents, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I think one murder is one too many. Since 2014 we have seen an increase in violent crime in London and across the country.
“Already in the last seven years we have lost £700 million from the policing budget. Over the next three years the Government plans to cut another £300 million. That’s a billion pounds worth of cuts.
“So my message to the Government is please work with us to solve this national problem.”
More than 70 murder investigations have been launched in London alone in 2018 so far.
In April, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd denied the rise in violent crime was a result of falling police numbers.
She said: “The head of the Metropolitan Police has said she does not believe the recent spike in attacks is due to cuts to police budgets.”
She laid some blame at the feet of social media companies, adding: “I am calling on them to review their terms and conditions and make it clear that they will not host any content linked to gangs or gang violence.
“Some might say that this is impossible. But when I called on social media companies to deal with terrorist content on their platforms they listened and they took action.
“I am asking them to do so again because it’s the right thing to do.”