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Knife crime offences hits highest level since records began

INCREASE: Crime in England and Wales

POLICE DATA has revealed that knife crime in England and Wales rose to record levels last year.

Data shows that there were 40,829 offences involving sharp instruments in 2018, up by 6% compared to 2017.

Office for National Statistics figures show cases of murder and manslaughter also rose by 12%, with 732 killings compared to 655 in 2017 - the highest since 2007.

Separate statistics also published today (Apr 25) showed that nationwide only nine per cent of violent offences during 2018 have so far led to a person being charged — two per cent lower than the previous year’s figure.

Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the Commons home affairs select committee, expressed disappointment at today’s figures. She said “The police are completely overstretched and crime prevention work is far too limited. The Home Office and government response on knife crime and other rising crimes is still far too weak and just doesn’t match the scale of the problem.”

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott added that the figures were “deeply troubling”.

The publishing of these figures come after Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed plans to take action against violent crime online with a new £1.4 million social media hub which will be fully operational in May.

The hub will include a new 17-strong team of police staff and officers will be tasked with disrupting and removing overt and covert gang-related online content.

At the Taskforce, senior leaders from Google and Facebook will updated members on the action they are taking to protect vulnerable users from harmful content, including videos promoting violence.

“Social media is increasingly being used as a platform to incite violence, promote gang culture and legitimise the use of knives. I will not let this continue,” said Javid.

“Tech firms have been making progress in tackling this harmful content, but more needs to be done. Our Online Harms White Paper will ensure they have a legal duty to protect their users and by meeting routinely, in forums like the Serious Violence Taskforce, we can continue to hold these companies to account.

“But we also need the strongest possible law enforcement response. The national police social media hub will ensure a team of dedicated officers are identifying and taking action against gang-related content.”

The new national police social media hub will be established within the Metropolitan Police, transforming the current capability and extending its reach to other forces.

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