Knives: Crime

Home Office written question – answered on 15th May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of knife crime offences in England and Wales in 2018.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

The Government is very concerned about increases in knife crime and its impact on victims, families and communities. The latest statistics published by the Office for National Statistics on 25 April for the year ending December 2018 show an increase of 6 per cent in police recorded knife crime.

The action we are taking to tackle knife crime is set out in our Serious Vio-lence Strategy and includes new legislation in the Offensive Weapons Bill to introduce Knife Crime Prevention Orders, to make it an offence to possess certain offensive weapons in private, and stopping knives being sent to residential addresses after they are bought online unless the seller has arrangements with a delivery company to verify age.

We are also raising awareness among young people of the dangers of carrying a knife through our national media campaign - #knifefree – and supporting early intervention through the £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund, which is already supporting 29 local projects, and we have also introduced the £200 million Youth Endowment Fund, which will be delivered over the next 10 years to support interventions with children and young people at risk of involvement in crime and violence, focusing on those most at risk. The charity Impetus, working in partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation and Social Investment Business, is now operating the Fund We also continue to support the police national weeks of action under Operation Sceptre.

In addition, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Spring Statement on 13 March that there will be £100 million additional funding for the police in 2019/20 to tackle serious violence, including £80m of new funding from the Treasury. The majority of the investment will largely go towards supporting police forces most affected by the violence we are seeing, but the funding will also support Violence Reduction Units, bringing together a range of agencies, including health, education, social services and others, to develop a multi-agency approach to preventing serious violence.

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