According to an official report, knife crimes rose by more than one fifth in the year ending December 2017 throughout England and Wales. In London alone, the murder rate increased by 44 percent. Police in the United Kingdom registered a huge number of knife crimes: almost 40,000 in England and Wales. Many of the crimes occurred in London and the larger cities of the realm. In London, 60 people have been killed by knives this year alone.

The statistics showed the England and Wales saw 39,598 offences involving edged weapons last year.

In 2017, London saw not only an increase of 44 percent in the number of killings, there was an increase of knife-related offenses of 20 percent to 14,680. Last year saw 150 fatalities.

Also firearms-related crimes rose by 11 percent to 6,604. Gun and knife crimes are disproportionately found in London and other metropolitan areas. The majority of police forces in those cities saw increases in these violent crimes.

The number of murders rose by 9 percent or 54 to a total of 653, excluding last year’s terror attacks were excluded. There were 1.3 million crimes of “violence against the person” noted in the report, representing an increase of one-fifth over the number found in 2016. Burglary and robbery also showed an uptick by 9 percent and 33 percent respectively. Separately, the Crime Survey for England and Wales showed a 17 percent increase in the theft of vehicles. 

Despite efforts by the Conservative Party to jail offenders who have committed two knife crimes, 
2,000 offenders a year avoided going to jail. New laws require adults caught with a blade for the second time are supposed to be jailed for at least six months. However, the newest report shows that one out of 10 people with a previous conviction for possessing a knife were penalized with a sentence of less than jail. In 2017, a total of 2,106 repeat offenders did not go to jail. 

The number of violent offences as measured by the CSEW was unchanged, at 1.2million.

London saw more murders committed in the city in February and March than there were in New York. So far in 2018, London’s Metropolitan Police has investigated 46 murders, as compared to 50 in New York City. The Big Apple’s murder rate declined from the end of January, while London's rose markedly. British legislators are contemplating further restrictions on knives, while some retailers have decided to cease the sale of the edged tools. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently tweeted that there is "no reason" for anyone to carry a knife.

Crime stats

The police forces are listed alphabetically. The figures do not include fraud offenses.

Avon and Somerset 139,644 (up 4%)

Bedfordshire 46,059 (up 9%)

British Transport Police 57,581 (up 15%)

Cambridgeshire 66,364 (up 22%)

Cheshire 82,443 (up 36%)

City of London 5,338 (down 1%)

Cleveland 55,329 (up 9%)

Cumbria 27,046 (up 6%)

Derbyshire 55,641 (up 5%)

Devon and Cornwall 100,637 (up 23%)

Dorset 48,717 (up 11%)

Durham 60,541 (up 40%)

Dyfed-Powys 25,114 (up 10%)

Essex 130,757 (up 11%)

Gloucestershire 34,261 (up 15%)

Greater Manchester 335,488 (up 37%)

Gwent 46,903 (up 19%)

Hampshire 160,808 (up 12%)

Hertfordshire 81,958 (up 16%)

Humberside 85,518 (up 15%)

Kent 167,340 (up 33%)

Lancashire 120,212 (up 15%)

Leicestershire 79,250 (up 21%)

Lincolnshire 40,597 (up 10%)

Merseyside 122,165 (up 14%)

Metropolitan Police 809,049 (up 7%)

Norfolk 55,643 (up 14%)

North Wales 48,022 (up 18%)

North Yorkshire 38,478 (up 5%)

Northamptonshire 55,047 (up 4%)

Northumbria 149,023 (up 26%)

Nottinghamshire 93,800 (up 24%)

South Wales 105,667 (up 9%)

South Yorkshire 144,980 (up 30%)

Staffordshire 83,747 (up 11%)

Suffolk 52,524 (up 19%)

Surrey 72,897 (up 20%)

Sussex 113,079 (up 11%)

Thames Valley 148,173 (up 10%)

Warwickshire 41,804 (up 18%)

West Mercia 85,790 (up 9%)

West Midlands 227,865 (up 13%)

West Yorkshire 260,024 (up 13%)

Wiltshire 44,043 (up 8%)
 

According to an official website of the British website, here follows a summary of knife restrictions:

"Selling, buying and carrying knives

"The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and an unlimited fine. You’ll get a prison sentence if you’re convicted of carrying a knife more than once.

"Basic laws on knives

"It’s illegal to:

  • sell a knife to anyone under 18, unless it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less
  • carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less
  • carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
  • use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife)

"Scotland

In Scotland, 16 to 18 year olds are allowed to buy cutlery and kitchen knives.

"Lock knives

"Lock knives are not classed as folding knives and are illegal to carry in public without good reason. Lock knives:

  • have blades that can be locked and refolded only by pressing a button
  • can include multi-tool knives - tools that also contain other devices such as a screwdriver or can opener

"Banned knives and weapons

"It is illegal to bring into the UK, sell, hire, lend or give anyone the following:

  • butterfly knives (also known as ‘balisongs’) - a blade hidden inside a handle that splits in the middle
  • disguised knives - a blade or sharp point hidden inside what looks like everyday objects such as a buckle, phone, brush or lipstick
  • flick knives (also known as ‘switchblades’ or ‘automatic knives’) - a blade hidden inside a handle which shoots out when a button is pressed
  • gravity knives
  • stealth knives - a knife or spike not made from metal (except when used at home, for food or a toy)
  • zombie knives - a knife with a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words suggesting it is used for violence
  • swords, including samurai swords - a curved blade over 50cm (with some exceptions, such as antiques and swords made to traditional methods before 1954)
  • sword-sticks - a hollow walking stick or cane containing a blade
  • push daggers
  • blowpipes (‘blow gun’)
  • telescopic truncheons - extend automatically by pressing button or spring in the handle
  • batons - straight, side-handled or friction-lock truncheons
  • hollow kubotans - a cylinder-shaped keychain holding spikes
  • shurikens (also known as ‘shaken’, ‘death stars’ or ‘throwing stars’)
  • kusari-gama - a sickle attached to a rope, cord or wire
  • kyoketsu-shoge - a hook-knife attached to a rope, cord or wire
  • kusari (or ‘manrikigusari’) - a weight attached to a rope, cord, wire
  • hand or foot-claws
  • knuckledusters

"Contact your local police to check if a knife or weapon is illegal.

"Good reasons for carrying a knife or weapon

"Examples of good reasons to carry a knife or weapon in public can include:

  • taking knives you use at work to and from work
  • taking it to a gallery or museum to be exhibited
  • if it’ll be used for theatre, film, television, historical reenactment or religious purposes, for example the kirpan some Sikhs carry
  • if it’ll be used in a demonstration or to teach someone how to use it

"A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife or a weapon if you’re charged with carrying it illegally."

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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