Police record knife crimes rise 4% to 26,535

A person holding a knife, as knife crimes recorded by the police have gone up by 4% from last year, according to Office for National Statistics figures
A person holding a knife, as knife crimes recorded by the police have gone up by 4% from last year, according to Office for National Statistics figures

Knife crimes recorded by the police have gone up by 4% from last year, according to Office for National Statistics figures.

There were 26,535 offences involving a blade reported in the 12 months to June.

The increase has been attributed to “a more proactive police response”.

Knife possession recorded by officers also went up by 9% which can “often by influenced by increases in targeted police action”, the ONS said.

A “two strike” rule for anyone caught with a blade was recently introduced meaning anyone convicted of possession more than once now faces mandatory jail time.

Crime Minister Mike Penning said the new sentencing regime has helped police tackle knife crime.

“Tackling these horrific crimes is a priority, and we have introduced new laws that mean anyone caught in possession of a knife for a second time will now face a mandatory minimum sentence in prison,” he added.

Steve White, chairman of The Police Federation of England and Wales, described the increase as a “worrying” change of direction from declines in previous years.

“Possession of a knife or bladed instrument is up 9% and this is particularly worrying as it reverses the trend of recent years,” he added.