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Rise in knife crime in Staffordshire and Cheshire

The number of offences involving knives went up in Staffordshire and Cheshire last year.

Figures out today from the Office for National Statistics show there were 704 offences involving knives in Staffordshire in 2018, a 6 per cent rise on the year before.

Meanwhile the number recorded by police in Cheshire went up 12 per cent to 377.

Nationally, knife crime has reached record levels - with around 41,000 offences.

Policing minister Nick Hurd admits the figures are concerning, but insists work is being done to address them.

He said: "It is profoundly unsettling for communities, as well as obviously devastating for friends and families directly affected.

"There is an absolute determination across the country, but also across Government and led by the Prime Minister, to end this cycle."

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott described the findings as "deeply troubling" and said "these reckless cuts must end".

She said that ministers are "in denial" and "refusing to accept that their cuts to police forces have had any impact either on crime levels or the ability to apprehend the criminals."

Labour MP Yvette Cooper added that "police are completely overstretched and crime prevention work is far too limited", and said the violent crime will only get worse unless the government acts.

Police also recorded 732 homicides in England and Wales last year, the highest total in a decade.

The ONS figures for 2018 also revealed: 

  • Robbery offences increased by 11% to a total of 82,566
  • More than 1.6 million violent offences against people, up by 19% on the previous year
  • Overall police-recorded crime rose to 5.2 million offences, up from 4.8 million in 2017
  • Fraud offences increased by 12%

Commenting on the crime figures, Alexa Bradley from the ONS said: "When we look at the overall level of crime, there has been no significant change over the last year.

"However, it is important to look at each crime type separately because the picture is very mixed.

"Even within crime types we have seen differences. Robbery and vehicle offences have increased whereas burglary has decreased.

"Lower-volume high-harm violence involving knives has risen, whereas offences involving firearms have decreased."

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