24 April 2020
Knife crime in Derbyshire rose by a third in the last year to its highest level in the last decade, according to new Government figures.
The Office for National Statistics’ crime figures show there were 775 knife offences in the county between January and December 2019, up from 582 the previous year.
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton said: “At the moment everyone’s focus is quite righty on saving lives by supporting the National Health Service. My colleagues are doing all they can to prevent the spread of the virus by ensuring that the Government restrictions are effective.
"These figures, though, serve as a stark reminder of the challenges we face and why we really do need the extra resources policing has been promised.
“When the current extraordinary situation with the COVID-19 virus has passed, as it will, then Derbyshire Police officers and their colleagues throughout the country will be able to refocus on tackling this issue which has a devastating impact on communities and peoples’ lives.”
The total number of offences involving knives or sharp instruments in England and Wales (excluding Greater Manchester Police) grew by seven per cent.
John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation, called for increased funding for forces to tackle knife crime.
He said: “Yet again we see the effects of austerity that have necessitated this current government’s investment in funding and the 20,000-officer uplift announced last year – investment that will still only bring us back to pre-2008 levels.
“However, it will take time for the effects of this much needed investment to be felt and we can see the results in these figures.
“It is a tragedy that knife crime continues to spiral as my colleagues are stretched to their limits, and with fewer officers on patrol it comes as no surprise that street crime such as robbery has increased.”
Other statistics include:
John added: “Understandably, the next, post COVID-19 release will look quite different, as long-term lockdown will affect the statistics. What this current crisis has highlighted, though, is the other story told in these figures – that policing desperately needs long-term, sustained funding unaffected by political priorities so that we can tackle crime head-on.”