Concern about knife crime but rise is small and level well below 2011

dreamstimesmall_3584076-2Knife crime has risen by a small amount in the last 12 months but it is nowhere near the high point of 2011.

The most recent figures from the Metropolitan Police show that in the 12 months to the end of August this year it went up by 6%. During that period the police recorded 10,058 offences. But 3 years ago the figures were much worse. In the 12 months to the end of November 2011 there were 14,570 recorded offences.

It then fell by 35% to its lowest point in recent times in November last year before beginning to rise again slowly.

knife crime

The figures for knife crime with injury where someone was actually cut or stabbed rather than threatened show a similar pattern, falling from a peak of 4,200 in the 12 months to the end of March 2010 to a lowest point in April 2014, since when it has risen slightly.

The chief of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, has linked levels of knife crime with a reduction in use of powers where officers can stop and search  people if they have reasonable grounds to believe that they are carrying drugs, a weapon or stolen property. In a public criticism the Home Secretary Theresa May described that as a knee-jerk reaction.

The figures for the stop and search have fallen from a peak of 527,000 in the 12 months ending March 2011 to just 149,000 in the 12 months to August 2015.

stop and search

This is a steady drop from peak to trough of 71% and does not have an obvious correlation with knife crime which was falling for much of the period as stop and search was falling.

Source data

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Fall in assaults makes city safer

hLondon is becoming a safer city.  There has been a 40% drop in assaults where an ambulance was called to deal with injuries in the last 4 years. The past year alone has seen a 20% reduction.

Data from the London Ambulance Service shows that in the year ending February 2015 ambulance crews and paramedics attended 26,000 calls to treat assault injuries. In 2011 it was 46,000 incidents.  Assaults on women and teenagers are falling in line with the general trend.

There are also fewer incidents involving weapons. Gun shot injuries are down 50% over 4 years.  Knife crime saw dramatic falls between 2011 and 2013 but has gone back up a little in recent months.  In the year ending February 2015 there were 1,500 knife wounding incidents dealt with by the ambulance service.


The assault figures are down in every borough. Harrow has seen the most significant improvement where the fall is 37%.  In Tower Hamlets it is 14%.  In attacks on teenagers, seen as a particularly vulnerable group, there is good news across the city, except in Greenwich, where the numbers were slightly up.

The data on knife injuries shows a less uniform picture. Lambeth and Southwark have the highest number but there’s been a reduction in the past twelve months.  Hackney and Haringey also have significant numbers and the rate there has increased.


Source data

Note: The data is based on retrospective reporting by ambulance crews/paramedics and 999 call handlers of incidents where they judged an assault had taken place.