Documents to download

In the year to March 2018, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that there were 285 knife and sharp instrument homicides in England and Wales: the highest number since the Home Office Homicide Index began in 1946. Compared to the previous year, the number of homicide victims aged 16 to 24 years old increased by 45%. For the ONS, this partially reflected an increase in serious violence in London and other cities “where young adults have been disproportionately affected”. There has also been a reported 77% increase in homicides committed with knives by under-18s between 2016 and 2018, and a 93% increase in the number of under-16s admitted to hospital due to knife attacks since 2012. The rise in knife-related offences has also been reported by the Ministry of Justice. It found that in 2018, 21,484 knife and offensive weapon offences were formally dealt with by the criminal justice system (CJS): the highest number since 2009.

These trends have been highlighted in newspaper headlines, with some labelling the increase in knife crime an “epidemic”. However, the wide-ranging coverage has not put forward a consistent view on what is causing the increase or what should be done to curb it. This briefing explores current government policy in relation to knife crime and some of the possible causes of the recent increase.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • Peerages created following prime ministerial resignations

    UK prime ministers may draw up a resignation honours list on their departure from office, in which they may request that the reigning monarch grant honours to any number of people. Such honours may include peerages, knighthoods and damehoods, or other awards. However, not all have chosen to draw up such a list. This article lists those prime ministers who have requested that peerages be conferred on their departure from office.

    Peerages created following prime ministerial resignations
  • Educational attainment gap: Regional disparities

    Following the release of this year’s GCSE and A-level results, some commentators have raised concerns that the educational attainment gap between the north and south of England has widened. This issue is the focus of an upcoming question for short debate in the House of Lords. In preparation for the debate, this briefing looks at recent commentary on the issue and provides an overview of this year’s results.

    Educational attainment gap: Regional disparities