Worrying increase in violence as firearm and knife offences surge

The grim reality of increasing violent crime in England and Wales has been reflected once again in new figures from the Office of National Statistics today that show violent offences against individuals have shot up by 20% – from 1,075,839 to 1,291,405 in one year.

In the year ending September 2017 knife crime was up 21% to a total of 37,443 recorded offences, whilst gun crime has increased by 20% with 6,694 recorded offences. As the ONS itself notes: “The occurrence of these offences tends to be disproportionately concentrated in London and other metropolitan areas.”

Other offences are up as well, with robbery increasing by 29% compared with the previous year (from 53,263 to 68,968 offences).

There was an increase in the number of domestic abuse-related offences as well, up 20% to 535,359 from 447,950, whilst police recorded rape increased by 29% (to 48,773 offences) compared with the previous year and other sexual offences increased by 20% (to 89,272).

The Deputy Head of Crime Stats, Mark Bangs, has argued that overall levels of violent crime are not increasing and that the increase is only focused on certain elements.

Yet these big surges in year-on-year violent crime numbers are hugely concerning. You cannot do law and order on the cheap. The country clearly needs more police on the street and a tougher approach on law and order overall if we are to see a reverse in these alarming numbers.