As promised (threatened) here is the almost final update on the scale of Knife Crime in England and Wales last year. I am still arguing with the City of London Police and Avon & Somerset Constabulary over their Refusal Notices, if I ever get final figures from them I’ll update this post. The figure for A&S in the graphic is very much provisional and dependent upon the outcome of the arguments.
Dyfed Powys is late replying (my fault, I didn’t spot a clarification question they sent me)
Cleveland, Kent and Leicestershire are late replying – their fault, reminders sent.
So, the bottom line is that in 2016 there were almost 18,000 deaths or injuries caused by knives, swords or other pointed implements in England and Wales. Nearly 50 a day, or 2 every single hour of the day and night across the country.
You may not think that is very much, but every single hour a family somewhere has their lives affected to a greater or lesser extent by knives.
What can be done about it? In my view, and you don’t have to agree with me, there are two possible solutions;
- Increased use of the controversial (but not unlawful) tactic of Stop and Search.
- Education – get back into schools, youth clubs and other such organisations. Use some hard-hitting facts and images and educate the youths of the consequences of Knife Crime to others (and to themselves) There are no guarantees of course, but, having been educated, anyone caught carrying a knife has only got themselves to blame for the consequences.
One or 2 ‘hotspots’ immediately hit you when you look at the bland statistics.
London (unsurprisingly), followed by Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, West Midlands, Merseyside and Essex are the front-runners.
North Yorkshire are the outright winners of the Low Knife Crime Award, BTP appear to be joint winners but I suspect that some of their crimes will feature in other Forces’ stats.
Where are we going with Stop and Search? Can’t really tell you for the whole of England and Wales, but for London the answer is easy to find, and you may or may not approve.
The Mayor of London routinely publishes the stats for all kind of things. I ASSUME they are provided by the Met but I can’t actually vouch for that.
Between 2008 and 2016 crime involving weapons generally looked like this;
Not currently as high as it has been, but looks like it’s on the way back up again.
Stop and Search? What does that look like over the same period?
As I said, these are only the figures and trends for London, they may well be similar all over the country.
Can we afford to assume that they are not?
So, back to the Knife Angel. As of this month Clive Knowles, the chairman of the company that created the Angel stated that the only Forces who were not supporting the project were South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Sussex. Sussex have now stated that they WILL support the scheme. South Yorkshire, in the form of Temporary Superintendent Simon Wanless, have stated that no-one has asked them to support the scheme. However my attempts to contact Mr Wanless have gone unanswered.
West Yorkshire, and their PCC, also have ignored my heavy-handed hints, despite having one of the larger problems in the country.
I have visited Mr Knowles again, and I can confirm to South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire that the offer of free Knife Amnesty bins is still very much available. Each Amnesty Bin is made on site and, delivered and installed, costs the company £600-£700, that is the level of his commitment. Come on South and West Yorks, please get on board and contact Mr Knowles, I know for a fact that he will be delighted to hear from you.