20 July 2020
Knife crime in Derbyshire rose by more than a third in the last year to its highest level on record, according to new Government figures.
There were 838 offences involving a knife or sharp weapon in Derbyshire in the 12 months to March, up from 610 offences in the previous 12 months, data from the Office for National Statistics shows.
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton said: “Knife crime has a devastating effect on communities and lives, and it’s concerning to see it rising to the highest recorded level in the county. Our members do everything they can to tackle knife crime and see at first hand the shocking impact it can have.
“The ongoing recruitment of new officers to the Force is a start in helping us to tackle it, but it will take some time for the effects on the investment to be felt and to come through.
“And when offenders are involved in knife offences, we need to ensure they’re properly punished to send out the strongest possible message.”
Nationally, the number of offences involving a knife or sharp weapon rose by six per cent to 46,265, its highest level on record.
Robbery also increased for the fifth year in a row, by six per cent (to 83,241 offences) compared with the previous year.
National Federation chair John Apter said: “It’s a tragedy knife crime continues to spiral as my colleagues are stretched to their limits, and with fewer officers on patrol it comes as no surprise.
“More than ever we need a visible deterrent to violent crime. We need more officers available to deter and prevent these kinds of crimes and ease the burden on colleagues.”
He added: “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-2010 levels.”
There was a rise of 10 per cent in homicides to 683, which includes the 39 people found dead inside a lorry in Essex last October. Excluding the lorry deaths, homicides increased by three per cent.
However, many crimes have fallen including a four per cent decrease in recorded offences involving firearms and a four per cent fall in theft.
Burglary offences recorded by the police have also continued on a long-term decline, decreasing by nine per cent.
John added: “The fact some statistics have fallen despite this is a testament to the hard work and dedication of officers who police with professionalism across the country.”