Within the UK, the police and ministry of justice have seen an increase in knife crimes and this year the number of cautions and convictions has reached record levels.
In September 2019 14,135 offences were recorded and when the number of offences involved possessing other weapons was added, the total was almost 22,300.
It has been reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead a new cabinet committee to look at ways to tackle the increase in knife crimes across England and Wales. The announcement of the new cabinet committee came after data released by the Office for National Statistics in October revealed that recorded Offences involving knives or sharp instruments hit a record high in the year to June – up 7% on the previous 12months to 44,076.
With the increase in knife crimes, the MoJ (Ministry of Justice) figures show that for most offenders this was their crime. Although many offenders are experiencing carrying a weapon to be their first crime, it has been reported that offenders are now more likely to be handed an immediate jail sentence for knife and weapon offences and for longer periods.
In September, 38% of knife crime offences resulted in an immediate custodial sentence compared with 23% for the same period in 2009. Whilst the number of knife crimes resulted in immediate custodial sentence increased so did the average length of prison sentences – from 6 to 8 months.
BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said ‘The record number of knife possession offences could reflect greater use of police stop-and-search powers, as well as a rise in the number of people carrying knives’
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