Force bucks the trend with fall in knife crime


PUBLISHED 24 Jan 2020

IN News

Cambridgeshire saw a 3.5 per cent drop in knife crime offences in the latest Government figures, bucking the national trend.

There were 245 people cautioned or convicted for knife or offensive weapon offences in the Force area in the year ending September 2019, down from 256 in 2018.

Liz Groom, chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation, said: “Of course, we will always welcome a reduction in knife crime offences but we need more money from the Government to continue to tackle this issue.

“The public is understandably concerned about knife crime, and about the devastating impact that it has on individuals, families and communities. Our members are on the front-line in the fight against knife crime and they are clearly achieving some great results, taking those who use knives to harm others off our streets.

“They are working tirelessly to bring offenders to justice but the cuts of the last 10 years mean we are stretched like never before, our officers are working harder and are under more pressure.

“We need Government investment to ensure we can continue to tackle knife crime as well as the other areas of policing that the public demands.”

Across England and Wales, 22,286 knife and offensive weapon offences were dealt with by the criminal justice system.

This is a three per cent increase on the previous year and is the highest number since the year ending September 2009, when there were 26,364.

The Ministry of Justice figures show that for most offenders (71 per cent) this was their first crime of this kind.

According to the report, offenders are now more likely to be handed an immediate jail sentence for knife and weapon offences, and for longer.

In the year ending September 2019, 38 per cent of knife and offensive weapons offences resulted in an immediate custodial sentence compared with 23 per cent 10 years earlier. The average length of custodial sentences also increased over the same period, from six months to just over eight months.

Justice minister Chris Philp said the Government was recruiting 20,000 more police officers, extending stop and search powers and ensuring the most violent offenders were kept in prison for longer.

“These figures should serve as a stark warning to those carrying knives – you are more likely to be jailed, and for longer, than at any point in the last decade,” he added.