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16 Jan, 2020 13:53

Knife crime in England & Wales rockets to 10-year high

Knife crime in England & Wales rockets to 10-year high

The number of knife crime offenses committed in England and Wales has soared to its highest record in a decade, according to new UK government figures.

Data published by the Ministry of Justice on Thursday shows that the epidemic blighting the streets of England and Wales shows no sign of abating. In total, 26,364 offences were recorded in the year to September 2019, 3 percent up on the previous year, and the highest number since 2009.

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The government document says the rise is driven by an increase of people being in possession of “an article with a blade or point offences.”

The shocking figures come after a number of government initiatives and ideas from ministers on how to combat the plague of knife crime offenses were widely ridiculed on social media.

In March 2019, then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, somewhat amusingly, insisted that the UK armed forces were “ready to respond” and assist then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid to “tackle this problem [knife crime].” The proposed intervention provoked derision on Twitter, with many questioning how military personnel could ever provide the necessary support to a highly complex issue.

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In August 2019, a government strategy to curb knife crime by putting anti-stabbing messages on takeaway boxes of fried chicken in several restaurant chains in England and Wales was widely condemned. Critics denounced the initiative as racist, due to an age-old trope of linking black people and fried chicken.

In response, a citizens’ group operating under the name ‘Spelling mistakes cost lives,’ set up a humorous fundraising website that mocked the idea, branding the campaign as “patronizing, racist and dumb.”

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