Offensive Weapons: Crime

Home Department written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Louise Mensch Louise Mensch Conservative, Corby

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences involving offensive weapons were recorded in each police authority area in each year between 2005 and 2009.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

Available data relate only to (a) offences where firearms have been fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person or used as a threat and (b) offences that involved knives and sharp instruments. From the information collected on recorded crime it is not possible to identify those offences where other offensive weapons were used, since details of the individual circumstances of offences are not recorded.

The available information for firearm offences relates to offences recorded between 2004-05 and 2008-09 and is provided in table A. Data for 2009-10 will be published in January 2011.

Table A: Firearm offences (excluding air weapons) by police force area, English regions and Wales 2004 - 05 to 2008 - 09
Recorded crime
Police force area 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Cleveland 37 41 19 15 34
Durham 21 18 14 45 22
Northumbria 182 137 111 78 51
North-e ast region 240 196 144 138 107
Cheshire 61 71 41 59 61
Cumbria 26 18 21 18 28
Greater Manchester 1,268 1,200 993 1,160 827
Lancashire 259 372 364 349 207
Merseyside 491 485 410 398 353
North-w est region 2,105 2,146 1,829 1,984 1,476
Humberside 174 108 117 58 62
North Yorkshire 13 15 14 17 11
South Yorkshire 185 301 211 202 144
West Yorkshire 318 355 319 332 287
Yorkshire and the Humber region 690 779 661 609 504
Derbyshire 149 109 83 70 75
Leicestershire 123 89 109 134 127
Lincolnshire 90 72 45 41 16
Northamptonshire 113 128 159 164 112
Nottinghamshire 303 277 196 240 204
E ast midlands region 778 675 592 649 534
Staffordshire 144 128 94 123 44
Warwickshire 73 80 90 107 56
West Mercia 151 115 58 124 79
West midlands 959 946 979 974 987
West midlands r egion 1,327 1,269 1,221 1,328 1,166
Bedfordshire 94 103 86 83 64
Cambridgeshire 50 34 24 30 34
Essex 193 280 255 260 176
Hertfordshire 139 114 89 112 68
Norfolk 23 29 34 43 29
Suffolk 59 58 42 38 25
East of England region 558 618 530 566 396
London, City of 3 1 4 3 3
Metropolitan 3,694 3,883 3,327 3,396 3,087
London region 3,697 3,884 3,331 3,399 3,090
Hampshire 148 85 122 100 80
Kent 100 142 92 82 93
Surrey 63 87 60 70 66
Sussex 67 85 84 69 65
Thames Valley 437 401 332 322 214
South-e ast region 815 800 690 643 518
Avon and Somerset 196 167 138 116 95
Devon and Cornwall 189 174 132 111 70
Dorset 49 27 28 21 16
Gloucestershire 87 77 65 43 52
Wiltshire 49 43 69 49 45
South-w est region 570 488 432 340 278
Dyfed-Powys 40 21 17 25 7
Gwent 85 53 33 47 36
North Wales 60 88 98 53 42
South Wales 104 71 67 84 54
Wales 289 233 215 209 139
England and Wales 11,069 11,088 9,645 9,865 8,208

The Home Office has collected additional data on selected offences involving knives and sharp instruments since April 2007. Thus, there are no data available prior to 2007-08. Please note that the 2007-08 figures are not comparable to 2008-09 and 2009-10 due to the expanded offence coverage in those years. The available information is provided in tables B1 and B2.

Table B1: Knife and sharp instrument offences by police force area, English regions and Wales 2007-08( 1)
Recorded crime
Police force area( 2) 2007-08
Cleveland 169
Durham 93
Northumbria 351
North-east region 613
Cheshire 224
Cumbria 73
Greater Manchester 2,214
Lancashire 361
Merseyside 757
North-west region 3,629
Humberside 267
North Yorkshire 66
South Yorkshire 381
West Yorkshire 915
Yorkshire and the Humber region 1,629
Derbyshire 215
Leicestershire 294
Lincolnshire 71
Northamptonshire 216
Nottinghamshire 548
East midlands region 1,344
Staffordshire 219
Warwickshire 160
West Mercia 144
West midlands 2,648
West midlands region 3,171
Bedfordshire 316
Cambridgeshire 100
Essex 289
Hertfordshire 222
Norfolk 67
Suffolk 118
East of England region 1,112
London, City of 19
Metropolitan 9,937
London region 9,956
Hampshire 388
Kent 327
Surrey 114
Sussex 274
Thames Valley 633
South-east region 1,736
Avon and Somerset 360
Devon and Cornwall 288
Dorset 47
Gloucestershire 85
Wiltshire 140
South-west region 920
Dyfed-Powys 76
Gwent 130
North Wales 108
South Wales 585
Wales 899
British Transport Police 269
England and Wales 25,278
(1) Police recorded knife and sharp instrument offences data are submitted via an additional special collection. Other offences exist that are not shown in this table that may include the use of a knife or sharp instrument. In this table 'offences involving a knife' refers to the use of a knife or sharp instrument. Total of selected serious offences only include the five offence types shown in this table.

(2) Four police forces include unbroken bottle and glass offences in their returns, which are outside the scope of this special collection. As such, data for these forces are not directly comparable to data for other forces. The four forces are: West Midlands, Surrey, Sussex and the British Transport Police.

Table B2: Knife and sharp instrument offences by police force area, English regions and Wales 2008-09 and 2009-10( 1)
Recorded crime
Police force area( 2) 2008-09 2009-10
Cleveland 207 227
Durham 152 120
Northumbria 470 401
North-e ast region 829 748
Cheshire 341 276
Cumbria 87 98
Greater Manchester 2,835 2,361
Lancashire 843 622
Merseyside 892 798
North-west region 4,998 4,155
Humberside 369 357
North Yorkshire 225 205
South Yorkshire 648 571
West Yorkshire 1,273 1,311
Yorkshire and the Humber region 2,515 2,444
Derbyshire 327 317
Leicestershire 476 412
Lincolnshire 169 176
Northamptonshire 396 339
Nottinghamshire 940 767
East midlands region 2,308 2,011
Staffordshire 455 439
Warwickshire 223 157
West Mercia 341 318
West midlands 3,682 3,216
West midlands region 4,701 4,130
Bedfordshire 458 390
Cambridgeshire 402 360
Essex 730 679
Hertfordshire 177 128
Norfolk 130 201
Suffolk 200 178
East of England region 2,097 1,936
London, City of 26 10
Metropolitan 12,233 12,560
London region 12,259 12,570
Hampshire 592 582
Kent 553 377
Surrey 130 50
Sussex 728 681
Thames Valley 1,221 1,206
South-east region 3,224 2,896
Avon and Somerset 935 790
Devon and Cornwall 395 400
Dorset 164 176
Gloucestershire 181 157
Wiltshire 200 157
South-west region 1,875 1,680
Dyfed-Powys 95 73
Gwent 126 156
North Wales 136 97
South Wales 571 439
Wales 928 765
British Transport Police 346 231
England and Wales 36,080 33,566
(1) Police recorded knife and sharp instrument offences data are submitted via an additional special collection. Other offences exist that are not shown in this table that may include the use of a knife or sharp instrument. In this table 'offences involving a knife' refers to the use of a knife or sharp instrument. Total of selected serious offences only include the five offence types shown in this table.

(2) Four police forces include unbroken bottle and glass offences in their returns, which are outside the scope of this special collection. As such, data for these forces are not directly comparable to data for other forces. The four forces are: West Midlands, Surrey, Sussex and the British Transport Police.

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