Knife crime on the increase in North East

The number of knife and gun crimes has increased in the North East in the past year, new figures show.

Knife crime on the increase.
Knife crime on the increase.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show Northumbria Police recorded 917 offences involving a knife or sharp object in the year to March – up seven per cent from 857 the previous year.

It was also up from pre-pandemic levels, with 795 offences logged in the year to March 2020 – and means the rate of knife crimes stood at 63 per 100,000 people – but below the national rate of 82 per 100,000.

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Firearm offences also increased slightly in the area, with Northumbria Police recording 108 crimes last year - up from 105 the year prior.

Nationally, 48,900 knife and sharp object offences were recorded in the past year – up from 44,600 the previous year, but below 55,100 in the year to March 2020.

Patrick Green, CEO of the anti-knife crime charity The Ben Kinsella Trust, said: "With more austerity cuts looming, we must not repeat the mistakes of the past and reduce police funding and cut youth services.

"Only through strong enforcement and investing in prevention can we hope to make any headway against this growing menace."

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A Home Office spokesperson said an increase in the number of violent crimes is thought to be driven by improvements in police recording practices.

They added: “We are determined to tackle violent crime and it is why police funding this financial year will total up to £16.9bn, with the number of officers on our streets already at a 10-year high.”