Knife Crime Is Rapidly Increasing; 4 Tips on How to Stay Safe in 2024

Written by Nyah Mallen

24th August 2020

In recent years, the number of incidents of knife crime has been worryingly increasing. As recorded by the Office for National Statistics, in the year ending December 2023, there were a total number of 49,489 serious offences involving a knife in England and Wales.

There was a decrease previously in 2020/21. This came as a result of the lockdown restrictions in this time period. Unfortunately, however, crime rates have not stayed at these levels with the lifting of Covid restrictions. In today’s article, we will be looking to see if knife crime has increased, and by how much. We will also take a look at tips for keeping yourself safe from these statistics.

Has Knife Crime Increased In The UK?

When we look into the ONS’s data tables for the year ending December 2022, we can see there were 49,265 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument. When compared with December 2023, we can see an increase of 0.4% from the previous year. The percentage of attempted murders involving a knife has also concerningly increased from 48% to 50% in the same period. The number of reported robberies involving knives has risen by 16% since the year ending December 2020.

It is clear from these worrying trends that knife crime is increasing within the UK. There have been multiple organisations stepping up in attempts to prevent these mortifying figures from increasing further. They achieve this either by protesting laws surrounding weapons or educating people on the harmful impacts of said instruments.

The Ben Kinsella Foundation looks to change the sale of offensive weapons. They use their platform to call out changes that can be made to knife laws. They also host multiple exhibitions in order to discuss the choices and consequences of knife crime to young people.

Alternatively, there is also the Lives Not Knives charity, which also provides education to younger audiences about the dangers of knife crime. They also educate children on how they can avoid turning to such violent behaviours. LNK provides a range of learning resources and interactive experiences as they travel around the UK.

These increases follow from March 2019, when knife crime in the UK reached a decade high. It was revealed by the ONS that recordings of crimes that involved sharp instruments and knives had risen to their highest since 2010. There were more than 44,000 offences involving a sharp object in the year leading up to June 2019, which was an increase of 7% from the previous year.

Knife Crime In Schools

Shockingly, knife crime appears to be on the rise, even within schools. In the 12 months leading up to March 2023, there were 10 people murdered with a knife or sharp object who were under the age of 16. From the year ending August 2012 to the year ending August 2022, there has been an increase in violent crimes in schools by 309%, Physical violence is also not just limited to fellow pupils, but now teachers as well. A scary 18% of teachers have reported being threatened by pupils with a weapon, and a further 3% claiming a weapon was actually brought into the school.

Additionally, there were over 1,500 first time juvenile entrants sentenced for possession of weapons in 2022 to 2023. School students and teachers should be able to feel safe when in learning environments. It is a place to learn and socialise. Seeing these increases in violent behaviour is threatening pupils’ safety and creating a fearful atmosphere.

What Crimes Are Being Committed?

Knife crime varies in definition, ranging from homicide and robbery cases, to simply just possession of a weapon or the sale of banned weapons. However, the largest offender for knife crime in the year leading up to December 2023 was assault with injury and intent to cause serious harm.

According to The Ben Kinsella Foundation, there were 3,803 admissions into NHS hospitals across England and Wales for cases of assault by a sharp object in the 12 months leading to December 2023.

Offences involving the possession of a sharp object rose by 20% in the 12 months leading up to March 2023, when compared to the year ending in March 2020. For full details for this period, check out the ONS report here.

has knife crime increased in the UK

Where Does Knife Crime Occur The Most?

Here, we will look at where knife crime seems to occur the most in the UK. With data analysis and insights, we can shed some light on areas that are struggling most against their knife crime rates.

London

London has always struggled against its knife crime statistics, having become a persistent issue. There were 14,626 reported cases of knife crime in London in the 12 months up to December 2023, as recorded by the ONS.

In total, London accounted for 30% of all knife crime across England and Wales.

Such haunting figures began urging actor Idris Elba to launch a campaign; called Don’t Stop Your Future. He further called for a ban on a few types of weapons, as well as urging for better funded youth services.

West Midlands

On the other hand, West Midlands is recorded as the area with the highest rate of knife crime in England and Wales. In 2023, the West Midlands Police recorded 180 offences per 100,000 of the population, according to the BBC.

There were 7,110 serious crimes involving sharp weapons in 2023, and 58 of these were attempted murder. This is an increase of 6% in just one year. Knifepoint robberies have also increased from 2,729 to 3,209. Fortunately, assaults with a sharp object appear to have decreased in the course of a year, from 3,025 cases to 2,948.

Additionally, Birmingham’s alarming knife crime figures have prompted a cry for help from West Midlands police, who claim “We can’t solve this on our own.” according to BirminghamWorld. It has been revealed that there have been roughly 10 knife crimes occurring every day in West Midlands since 2020.

Manchester

Manchester is another region which has been suffering from a surge in knife crime. Recent statistics reveal that Greater Manchester has been battling against an estimated 10 knife crimes every day since 2020, according to Personal Injury Claims UK.

In response, there have been numerous operations launched in an attempt to tackle the growing crime rates. One example is Operation Venture, which was launched in December 2022. They aim to provide a rapid response to combat the threat of knife crime.

There is also Operation Sycamore, which has a more general outlook on violent crime but also focuses on knife crime. The operation aims to disrupt the illegal supply of knives to the UK and offer youths better alternatives to crime.

If you live in one of these areas, you don’t need to worry. There are preventative measures you can take that will help safeguard yourself and any assets you own. Whether it’s installing CCTV cameras or hiring security guards, enhancing security can help provide you with peace of mind.

knife crime is rapidly increasing

How To Stay Safe From Knife Crime

Safety should always be one of your top priorities, whether it’s personal safety or the safety of belongings and other assets. These 4 tips can help you avoid confrontation with knife crime statistics.

1. Stay Alert

Whether you’re actively taking a phone call, using your phone, wearing a hood or have earbuds in, all of these actions will have some impact on your awareness. If you feel unsafe in a particular area, it may be a good idea to ditch all distractions and focus on your surroundings. It also helps to behave confidently in public, looking assertive. It allows you to appear more in control and less like a vulnerable target.

Try to avoid walking alone in areas you are unfamiliar with, or walking during the night. Parks, side streets and quieter areas should be avoided where possible whilst it’s dark. It’s certainly preferable to stick to more populated areas and use public transport where possible. If walking is unavoidable, make sure you keep near well-lit areas that also ideally have CCTV cameras or other devices.

It is also a good idea to be aware of your own alcohol and drug usage. These intoxicants can significantly impair your reactions or reflexes, which puts you more in danger if you do end up in an unfortunate situation. Be aware of how much you’re drinking, or at least try to ensure that you are with a group that can provide help if you do end up in a dangerous situation.

2. Hide Valuables

It is always a good idea to keep your valuables out of plain view or easily accessible places. Try to avoid putting important or expensive items in the rear pockets of clothing, or pockets you don’t actively check. Thieves like to target pricey items, like technology, jewellery or any other designer goods. If you keep these goods out of direct line-of-sight, the likelihood of being targeted significantly diminishes.

You should also aim to avoid leaving items such as bags unattended in vehicles. If you absolutely must, then make an attempt to keep them out of view as much as possible. Place them in the glove box, under the seats or in the car boot. This helps to reduce the chances of both your car and other valuables being broken into and stolen.

Finally, if worst comes to worst and you do find yourself in a dangerous confrontation with a thief, throw your items away from yourself and immediately begin running. The chances are that the criminal is far more interested in your personal items than they are in you. Any weapons they carry tend to be for the purpose of scaring you into giving them what they want.

3. Plan Ahead

If you go out with a group of friends anywhere, consider making plans on what to do in the case of an emergency. Cover all the usual grounds, such as what to do if someone gets separated from the group and where to meet up again just in case. Make sure to stick close where possible and avoid being divided.

If walking home alone becomes an inevitability, let someone know that you are heading home, and what time you should roughly be back by. Either let them know to expect you, or tell them you will send a text message, or give them a call when you get back safely. That way, if you don’t turn up, or don’t send that text or make that call, they will know to act on it.

4. Trust Your Gut Instinct

If you are ever in a situation where something doesn’t feel right, attempt to safely remove yourself from it. Our brains frequently use both logic and emotions to make decisions. This often relates back to our alertness of a situation, which is why it is so crucial to be aware of your surroundings.

What Should You Do If You Witness Knife Crime?

In the event that you ever come across someone who has been seriously injured, and is bleeding from an artery, their condition can very quickly become critical. This is why it is so important for you to be aware of the need to act quickly, and what you can to help. First things first, ensure that the nearby area is safe; make sure there are no immediate dangers. It is also important to put on gloves if possible to protect yourself from blood contamination.

From here, you should:

  • Attempt to talk to the victim. Try to elicit a response and see if they are conscious. Check their vitals and breathing regularly, just in case they begin to deteriorate.
  • Sit or lat the injured party down to make any symptoms of shock more manageable. It is also good practice to raise their legs to help regulate blood pressure.
  • If the person is unconscious and not breathing, immediately call for an ambulance and begin CPR procedures.
  • Following a knife crime, your main priority should be to stop the bleeding. Inspect the area of the injury to make sure it is clear. If a knife is still in the wound, or anything is stuck to the wound, do not remove it. This can help to slow the bleeding and buy more time, despite how painful it might be.
  • If nothing is obstructing the area of the wound, apply pressure to manually slow the bleeding.
  • Dress the wound with an appropriate, non-adherent dressing. If not possible, then just keep pressure on the wound until emergency services arrive.
  • Keep the victim warm and reassure them where you can. Panic is one of the last things you need in a tense situation.

Knife crime can be an incredibly sensitive subject, and given the statistics that we have seen, it is crucial to be able to protect yourself. If you have witnessed a crime, you can report it on the police website to let someone know.

how to stay safe from knife crime

So, Knife Crime Is Rapidly Increasing; How Do You Stay Safe?

Considering that this type of crime is becoming an increasingly persistent issue in the UK, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and what you can do to protect yourself. In this article, we have covered general knife crime statistics. We have also been over some of the areas that are most largely affected by knife crime. In addition to this, we have provided information on steps you can take to protect yourself and others from the risk of these incidents.

If you want to stay updated with all the latest crime news, check out our news page. There, you can find articles like Youth Crime and Gun Crime In The UK.

However, if you would prefer to keep up with the latest security tips and tricks instead, then head to our official Region Security Guarding YouTube channel.

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