Knife crime soars by 7% to highest ever level with 45,627 offences in England and Wales in 2019

The number of recorded knife crimes in England and Wales soared by 7 per cent its highest ever level in 2019, with a third of all offences recorded in London.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics today show that police recorded 45,627 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument.

This is an average rate of 125 knife crimes per day between last January and December – 49 per cent higher than when comparable recording began in 2011.

But the true number of knife crimes in England and Wales is likely to be higher, as the figures do not include Greater Manchester Police. 

The rising trend in knife crimes could be driven by an increase in robberies, the ONS suggested, after the number soared 12 per cent to 83,930. 

In England and Wales last year, there were 435 attempted murders involving a knife or a sharp instrument, and 4,151 threats to kill involving a knife.   

20,196 cases of assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm with a knife, and 19,943 cases of robbery, were recorded.

The number of recorded knife crimes in England and Wales has soared by 7 per cent to its highest ever level, with nearly half of all offences in London (stock image)

Meanwhile there were 660 recorded cases of rape and sexual assault involving a knife, and 242 cases of knife-related homicide.

London is the knife capital of the UK, with 15,492 police-recorded knife offences – a rate of 174 per 100,000 of the population, up from 168. 

The figures also show a 15 per cent rise of homicides recorded by the Metropolitan Police in the last year – to 146 from 127.

Of all recorded homicides last year, 40 per cent involved a knife or sharp instrument, a similar proportion to 2018, according to the data. 

The West Midlands is in second place with 5,200 knife crimes, up from 4,659 offences the year before – an 11.6 per cent rise.

The South East (4,796), the East (3,685), the East Midlands (3,433), and the North West also noted increases from 2018 of 2.2 per cent, 31.3 per cent, 13.1 per cent, and 14.6 per cent respectively, according to the ONS figures.

Last year’s bumper figure of 45,627 recorded knife-related crimes is up from 2018’s figure of 42,555, over 40,000 in 2017, and 33,726 in 2016.

The number of knife offences between April 2010 and March 2011 – when comparable records began – was 30,620.

Burglary was down 7 per cent (366,718), while theft fell 9 per cent (3,402,000). 

Joe Traynor, from the ONS, said: ‘Knife or sharp instrument offences continue to be concentrated in metropolitan areas across England and Wales, with around a third (34per cent) of all offences recorded by the police in London.’ 

Diana Fawcett, chief executive of the charity Victim Support, said: ‘We are concerned that reports of knife crime and homicide have risen.

‘Although the streets are quieter, the impact of knife crime is still being felt.

‘Many victims will still be dealing with the emotional consequences of threats or attacks which took place long ago.’ 

MailOnline has approached the Home Office for comment.