Murder and Knife Crime up AGAIN

18 October 2018

PFEW CHAIR

Chair John Apter

The news that knife crime is again at an all-time high is ‘deeply depressing’, according to the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), not least because so much more could be done to tackle it.

Official figures released today show that knife* offences leapt by 12% over the past 12 months, totalling 39,332 crimes recorded by police in the past 12 months.

As a result, hospital admissions for knife crimes have soared, according to NHS data, with 4,600 people requiring hospital treatment in England alone.

Murders also jumped by 14%** with 719 crimes recorded by police in the year ending June 2018, according to the new Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistics.

PFEW Chair John Apter said: “It didn’t take a crystal ball to predict these shocking increases because they only reflect what we have been telling Government for years – we need more boots on the ground.

“We can’t let the Government get away with launching a Serious Violence Strategy which fails to make one single mention of the falling numbers of police officers keeping the public safe. We have lost nearly 22,000 officers since 2010, and there are now only 122,404 across the whole of England and Wales tasked with trying to stem the rising tide of violent crime. It’s not enough.”

The ONS figures also revealed that:

  • Rape offences rose by 21%, with an 18 % increase in sexual offences overall
  • Robbery was up by 22%   - with 42% of these crimes happening in London
  • there was a 30% increase in public order offences
  • and a 36% increase in stalking and harassment

Mr Apter said: “The fact that our warnings have been constantly ignored is deeply depressing, not only to us at the Federation but the 120,000 members that we represent. Hard-working police officers are frustrated that they lack the resources to efficiently fight crime and protect the public.

“And the situation doesn’t look like it is going to get any better. Murders, which were showing a downward trend, have now been consistently rising for the past four years. Even lower level crimes, like vehicle-related theft, are showing an increase, as were burglaries - many of which will have been targeted at the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

Vehicle-related theft rose by seven per cent and burglaries by two per cent, totalling 432,000 burglaries overall last year.  Excluding fraud, nearly 5m crimes, were recorded in total by police over the previous 12 months – an increase of 10%.

Mr Apter added: “I don’t accept that the rise in crime, particularly violent crime is not linked to the dwindling numbers of police officers, police staff and other resources. Police forces have seen budgets slashed and officers working ever longer hours with reduced resilience because of the cuts introduced against a background of austerity.

“A Government’s first priority is to protect its citizens; by slashing the very people who are there to protect them they have failed to do this and that is shameful. They now have a chance to address this in the next Comprehensive Spending Review. They must act but I hope it’s not too late because as these crime figures demonstrate, the public are being severely let down and it’s not by the police service.”

*Knife figures do not include data from Greater Manchester Police so the real number is likely to be much higher. Knife crimes were concentrated in London and other metropolitan areas but the majority of police forces saw rises in this type of violent crime.

**Murder figures do not include London and Manchester terror attacks