Knife crime across England hits record high - but Yorkshire is bucking national trend

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Knife crime across England and Wales hit a record high in the year to September, up by seven per cent on the previous 12 months, but police forces across Yorkshire are bucking the national trend, latest figures show.

Across the country, police-recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument rose to 44,771, figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show

Knife crimeacross England and Wales hit a record high in the year to September, up by seven per cent on the previous 12 months, but police forces across Yorkshire are bucking the national trend, latest figures show.

Knife crimeacross England and Wales hit a record high in the year to September, up by seven per cent on the previous 12 months, but police forces across Yorkshire are bucking the national trend, latest figures show.

This is the highest on record, up from 41,858 in the previous 12 months and 46 per cent more than when comparable records began in the year ending March 2011 (30,620).

The four Yorkshire police forces however recorded 4,394 offences involving knives in the year to September - a fall from 4,520 in the previous 12 months.

Yorkshire’s largest police force - West Yorkshire Police - saw an eight per cent fall in knife crime with 2,488 offences involving knives or sharp instruments compared to 2,716 the previous year.

Chief Constable John Robins said he was pleased to see the force’s “commitment to tackle knife crime making such a tangible difference” but stated he was not complacent “with one person adversely affected by knife crime or serious violent crime one too many”.

The total number of homicides recorded by police across England and Wales fell by six per cent, from 654 to 617.

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There was also a 20 per cent drop in homicides where a knife or sharp instrument was used, to 221 offences, mainly driven by a decrease in London.

The rise in robberies was “evident for the fourth consecutive year”, the ONS said, with a 12 per cent increase to 82,542 offences.

The ONS report said: “While recording improvements are likely to have contributed to the rise, some of the increase is likely to reflect a real change.”

The number of crimes of violence against a person rose by 12 per cent in the 12 months to just over 1.6 million.

Across Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Police saw the biggest rise in overall recorded crime - up 12 per cent on the previous 12 months.

Humberside Police recorded a nine per cent increase, while crime was up four per cent in West Yorkshire and one per cent in South Yorkshire.

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Despite the 12 per cent rise across North Yorkshire, Chief Constable Lisa Winward said the county was still the safest place to live with a crime rate of 57.5 per 1,000 of the population, which is significantly lower than the average of 84.6 per 1,000 across England and Wales.

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said the rise was partly down to an improvement in the way crime is recorded by the force, but also expressed some concern.

She said: “I will be asking the Chief Constable to ensure she is confident her plans address the challenges we are facing. I am particularly concerned about the rise in violent crime as this is the sort of offence which causes huge worry in communities across North Yorkshire.”

The Prime Minister announced he would lead a new Cabinet committee looking at ways to tackle crime including long-term reforms to improve education and youth services.