In Depth

Knife crime: where are the most dangerous areas?

Home Secretary Sajid Javid holds crisis talks with police chiefs from seven most affected forces

Home Secretary Sajid Javid today met with police chiefs from the seven forces most affected by violent knife crime to discuss how to tackle the crisis.

Representatives from the National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs’ Council attended the talks, alongside senior officers from the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, South Wales, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

“The talks followed a spate of fatal teenage stabbings which has prompted debate about falling police numbers,” says the BBC.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Theresa May said there was “no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers”.

But that claim was contradicted by Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick, who told LBC: “I agree that there is some link between violent crime on the streets obviously and police numbers, of course there is, and everybody would see that.”

Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, echoed Dick’s concerns and called for officer street hours to be increased. Thornton told the BBC that “emergency funding” was needed to get more officers on the streets.

“We just haven’t got the capacity, we just haven’t got the officers at the moment so we need some money now to pay for overtime to pay for mutual aid between forces,” she said.

The PM has since told the House of Commons that police must have the “right resources”.

May said she would host a knife crime summit to find solutions to the “cycle of mindless violence that has shocked us all”.

The most recent Home Office data on crime, for the year ending September 2018, shows a large disparity in knife deaths between police forces across England and Wales.

City areas see the highest levels of knife crime, but the Metropolitan Police is having to deal with the issue in far greater numbers than others, with 83 homicides involving a knife in the 12 months to September 2018.

Rural forces such as those in Wiltshire, Dorset and Derbyshire had no knife-related murders in the same period, but numbers quickly rise in areas such as Greater Manchester and West Midlands.

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