“Knife crime remains at a level unseen for over a decade.”
An average of 40 knife crimes are committed in London, U.K. per day according to new data released last week.
One person is killed in a knife crime every four days in London, which has some of the strictest gun control measures in the world, on average.
The figures, which were obtained by Freedom of Information requests, tallied the total number of knife offenses, including stabbing and deaths caused by knives in 2017 and 2018.
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London police dealt with 29,232 knife crimes in the two years covered by the data.
And while those numbers might seem shocking, they represent a small reduction in knife crime during the two years. In 2017, there were 4,784 stabbings and in 2018 there were 4,246.
Praising police and local communities for their efforts, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the numbers were encouraging. However, he also cautioned that the amount of knife crime was still “too high”.
“Thanks to London’s communities and the hard work of the Met Police, who have been targeting offenders and removing dangerous weapons from our streets, we are seeing some knife crime offenses starting to fall, but it still remains too high,” Khan said.
“We still desperately need the Government to reverse its damaging cuts to the police and preventative services,” he continued, adding that knife crime “across the country” was still “unacceptably high.”
A spokesman from the Ben Kinsella Trust, which has worked to put a stop to knife crime in the U.K., struck a similar tone in a statement responding to the figures. However, he warned that the numbers still represent a rise in knife crime over the previous decade.
“It is encouraging to see that knife crime deaths and injuries fell slightly in 2018 compared to the previous year,” the spokesman said. “However we need to put these figures into context. Knife crime remains at a level unseen for over a decade.”
“These small reductions are not a cause for celebration and they will provide little or no comfort for those who have lost loved one or being affected by this heinous crime,” he added.
The Trust’s spokesman also cautioned that 2019 is off to a bad start.
“The few months of 2019 has shown that knife crime continues to blight our society and we must do all we can to take knives off the streets and educate young people about the dangers of carry a knife,” he said.
A London Police spokeswoman said in a statement that their officers are “working tirelessly” to put an end to the violence.
WMP baffled by whisk in knife surrender bin, PC Treasure commented 'it goes to show, carrying a knife is not worth the whisk!' pic.twitter.com/QL1rkRHh3K
— Sandwell Partnership (@SWPartnerships) September 22, 2017
“While London saw increases in violence between 2017 and 2018, we are beginning to see a decrease in key areas,” she said. “For example this year, between Jan 1 to April 1 the homicide rate was 32, a 30 per cent decrease compared to the same time frame in 2018, when it stood at 47. Official financial year-end figures will be released at a later date.”
The spokeswoman added that combatting knife crime continues to be a “top priority” for the police.
“Bearing down on violent crime and knife crime on the streets of London continues to be a top priority for the Met,” she said. “We are working tirelessly – day and night – to identify and pursue offenders, help bring perpetrators to justice, take weapons off the street, support victims, engage and reassure the public, and keep our communities safe.”
A rise in knife crime has been plaguing the UK in recent years, causing police to attempt creative solutions to combat the problem. One such effort, in the British county of Somerset, was an unmitigated failure.
Somerset police are investigating after a knife surrender bin in Weston was broken into and all the knives were stolen. “On the evening of March 13, the knife surrender bin in Weston was broken into by a number of people,” local police chief Jon Biggins said. “The contents were recovered a short distance away, and the whole incident was caught on CCTV.”
Police are still trying to identify the suspects.
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- Knife surrender.: Twitter