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West Midlands Police Federation

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Numbers boost will help fight against knife crime

23 July 2020

West Midlands Police Federation chair Jon Nott says the Force’s uplift in new officers will play an important role in helping tackle knife crime.

And he called on the criminal justice system to ensure offenders receive the toughest possible sentences to send out a strong message on knife crime.

His comments came as new figures from the Office for National Statistics show a slight increase in the numbers of knife crime offences in the West Midlands.

There were 3,437 offences involving a knife or sharp weapon in the Force area in the 12 months to March. That figure is up from 3,428 offences in the previous 12 months.

Jon said: “Knife crime has a huge impact on people’s lives and on our communities. Our members are often the first on the scene of a knife crime and have seen at first hand the terrible consequences it can have.

“Quite rightly, the public see tackling knife crime as a priority and we need to do everything we can to deter and prevent people from carrying bladed weapons. The ongoing recruitment of more officers to the Force should help since hopefully we can increase the police presence on our streets which will help us detect and prevent knife offences and other crimes generally.

“But we also need to be able to send out the strongest possible message on knife crime with the toughest possible sentences for offenders.”

Across England and Wales 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.

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.

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