In Brief

Police data shows knife crime at highest level for six years

Rise in violent crime will ‘put pressure on Home Secretary’

The number of knife crime incidents has hit its highest level in more than six years as overall offending in England and Wales continues to rise.

Official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that crime recorded by the police is rising at an increasing rate, by 13% this year to push the total number of offences to more than 5 million.

Knife crimes rose by 26% in the year to June, from 29,400 to 36,900, and sex crimes increased by just under 20% to reach 129,000.

Violence against the person rose by a fifth to 1.2 million offences, “driven largely by attacks where no injury was involved, including stalking and harassment,” says The Times.

The continuing rise in crime “will put more pressure on Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary,” adds the paper.

Since becoming Home Secretary Rudd has seen recorded crime rise by 5% in the year to June 2015; 7% in the year to June 2016; and by 13% this year.

Statisticans said they believe that the rise in recorded low-level offences was due to better police recording practices but that increases in knife crime and other serious offending were real.

“It is thought that the main driver has been a genuine rise in knife crime in areas such as London,” the ONS said.

“It will cause increasing political alarm,” says The Guardian that “large-volume offences, such as burglary and car crime, which had been falling over the previous two decades, are now starting to rise again. Domestic burglary is up 21% to 235,335 while thefts are up 11% to 1.9m.”

Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said: “The Tories can no longer hide behind claims that crime is falling to justify their severe cuts to the police.”

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