Kent has recorded the biggest increase of knife crime in England and Wales, up 152% since April 2010, according to The Guardian.
Figures for Kent show a threefold increase in knife crime, from 346 incidents to 873, over the eight years. Assistant chief constable Nick Downing, of Kent police, said the rise was partly explained by improved recording methods and starting from a smaller figure, however he said the force would not “hide away” from the fact there had been an increase in knife crime.
In 2010 there were 387 Police Community Support Officers and 3,878 Police Officers in Kent. As of the 31st March 2018, there were 3,261 Police Officers in Kent and 321 Police Community Support Officers.
So as Police numbers have fallen, the amount of knife crime has risen. We cannot say there is a direct correlation between the two incidences. However, Met police chief Cressida Dick has made it clear that “of course” there is “some link” between the two.
Police-recorded knife crime has been rising consistently since 2014, with about 40,000 incidents in the 12 months to September 2018. That will probably reflect some genuine increase, but there’s a snag.
The trouble with the data—which comes from police records—is that the police have been improving how they record crime in recent years, so they might be noticing more knife crime than they used to. We also only have data back to 2010, so we can’t get a good sense of longer historical trends.
Another source we can look at is hospital admissions for incidents related to sharp objects (this is for England only). These types of admissions have been rising and are at near-record levels (since records began in 1998), with around 5,000 cases in 2017.
One thing we can be certain of is that the austerity measures put in place in 2010 by the Cameron Government which persist today under Theresa May’s government has to played its part as well.
The Shepwayvox Team
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