Firearms and Knives: Crime

Home Office written question – answered on 7th March 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Twigg Stephen Twigg Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of gun and knife offences in Merseyside in each of the last five years.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department

Statistics on firearm offences and knife offences for the requested period are set out in the attached tables.

September 2018, compared to an 8% increase in England and Wales as a whole. Since 2013/14, knife offences in Merseyside have increased by 43%, compared to a 61% increase in England and Wales over the same period.

Police recorded crime data show that firearm offences (excluding air weapons) in Merseyside increased by 8% in the year to March 2018, a larger increase than for England Wales as a whole. The data show a negligible decrease (-0.9%) since 2013/14, opposed to a 34% increase for England and Wales over the same period.

The Government is very concerned about increases in knife crime and gun crime nationally, and its impact on victims, families and communities. The action we are taking is set out in our Serious Violence Strategy and includes new legislation in the Offensive Weapons Bill and continuing police action on knife crime under Operation Sceptre. The Strategy includes a strong focus on prevention and early intervention to stop young people being drawn into violent crime.

We are supporting early intervention and prevention with children and young people through the Early Intervention Youth Fund of £22 million, which is already supporting 29 projects across England and Wales. Over £17 million has already been allocated to projects delivering interventions to young people at risk of criminal involvement, gang exploitation and county lines. For example, a total of £700,000 has been awarded to an early intervention programme in Merseyside, involving a joint partnership between Everton in the Community, The Liverpool Foundation, the Princes Trust and The Shrewsbury House Youth Club. We are also supporting 68 small community projects this year through £1.5 million from the anti-knife crime Community Fund, of which four are in Merseyside.

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