Knife crime: Number of offences at nine-year high

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The number of crimes related to knives and other offensive weapons dealt with by the courts reached its highest level for nine years last year, figures show.

The Ministry of Justice says 21,484 offences were dealt with in England and Wales in 2018 – the highest number since 2009 (25,103).

The figures show 37% of the offences led to an immediate jail sentence.

In 2009, 23% of offences ended up with jail. Cautions and fines were twice as likely to be used, compared with 2018.

The proportion of offences which resulted in just a caution was 23% (5,817) in 2009 and 11% (2,410) in 2018.

Fines were issued in 4% (951) of these offences in 2009, compared with 2% (524) in 2018.

The government has said offenders are now more likely to go to jail for knife or offensive weapons crimes.

The annual figures have been published following a spate of fatal stabbings, including the killings of three 17-year-olds in less than a week earlier this month.

Police have been promised an extra £100m by the government to help them tackle a knife crime in England and Wales.



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