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Knife offences in England, Wales hit 10-year high

Published : 17 Jan 2020, 05:40

  DF-Xinhua Report

File Photo Xinhua.

Britain's criminal justice system dealt with nearly 22,300 knife and offensive weapon offences in England and Wales in the year ending September last year, the highest in 10 years, according to official figures released Thursday.

   The latest report by the Ministry of Justice showed 22,286 knife and offensive weapons offences were dealt with in the year ending September 2019, marking a 3 percent increase year-on-year while hitting the highest since 2009 when the figure was 26,364.

   The report showed 38 percent of knife and offensive weapon offences resulted in an immediate custodial sentence compared with 23 percent in the year ending September 2009.

   Knife crimes fell after 2009, but since 2014 there has been a gradual rise, according to official statistics.

   Justice minister Chris Philp said the government was recruiting 20,000 more police officers and was extending stop-and-search powers and ensuring the most violent offenders are kept in prison for longer periods.

   Javed Khan, CEO of childrens' charity Barnardo's, told local media that actions need to be taken to tackle the root causes and understand why those involved carry knives.

   "Increasing the number and length of sentences can only be part of the solution, as this may not deter young people who are suffering a poverty of hope," said Khan.

   "The new government urgently needs to work with charities, education, health, youth workers, the criminal justice system and local communities to find long-term solutions, so vulnerable children have a reason to turn away from crime," he added.