DETAILED and improved analysis of knife crime statistics has appeared online this year – and it shows a clearer picture of the issue compared to some 15 years ago when I first started taking a long, hard look at what was measured and reported.
As I said then, it is nigh on impossible to best manage without measurement. So, rather than wait for the Government and police to provide better analysis and communications of a general increase in knife crime over decades, the BBC seems to have got organised to do it.
As well as better analysis, the results look to be actionable statistics.
The top line figures are about knife crime in England and Wales rising to record levels in 2017-18 with fatal stabbings highest since records started in 1946.
- 40,829 offences involving knives or sharp instruments in 2018, up 6% on the previous year
- Incidents of murder and manslaughter (not terror) increased 12% with 732 killings, up from 655 in 2017
Earlier this decade, I reported that some decrease in knife crimes had occurred. However, I did express skepticism because the steady fall led up to election times (a problem being solved will help win political votes of course – or not lose so many).
Sure enough, up to the general election of 2015 numbers were falling. As soon as Theresa May left the Home Office to become PM, those knife crime stats for England and Wales started to soar.
Here’s how the BBC has set out the various key knife crime reporting on various of its website pages:
- First 100 fatal stabbings in the UK 2019 (animated graphic, moving timeline with each attack site revealed)
- Total knife offences in England and Wales (Offences involving a knife or sharp instrument)
- English hospital admissions for knife assaults (Number of admissions for assault by a sharp object)
- What crimes are knives used for? (% of knife crime by offence type, England and Wales, y/e September 2018)
- Murders committed by knife (1977-2018, England and Wales)
- Most violent attacks involve no weapons (Use of weapons in violent incidents, England and Wales, y/e March 2018)
- Most perpetrators of knife crime are over 18 (Knife possession offences by age, England and Wales, y/e September 2018)
- Regional variation in knife crime offences (Knife offences per 100,000 people by region, England and Wales, y/e March 2018)
- What has happened to stop and searches? (Stop and searches in England and Wales)
- How have police officer numbers changed? (Number of police officers in England and Wales)
- Tougher sentences for knife crime are increasing (Immediate custodial sentences for knife offences, England and Wales)
(I have been campaigning and fundraising to prevent knife crime since the early 2000s after rushing to try to help a fatally stabbed McDonald’s supervisor.)