Rise in murder, knife crime and robbery fuels increase in recorded offences

18 October 2018, 10:03 | Updated: 18 October 2018, 13:14

A rise in murder, knife crime, sex offences and robbery has fuelled an increase in overall recorded offences in the last year.

The number of homicides - murder and manslaughter cases - has risen by 14% in England and Wales in the year to June, while the number of recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument went up by 12%, official figures show.

The number of robberies grew by 22% and sexual offences increased by 18%.

The report by the Office for National Statistics shows the number of homicides rose from 630 to 719, a total that excludes the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

Police forces in England and Wales registered a total of 5.6m offences - up 9% on the previous 12 months and the highest total for police-recorded crime since 2005.

However, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), which is often seen as a better indicator for long-term trends, showed most types of crime have stayed at similar levels to the previous year, including violence.

Joe Traynor, from the ONS centre for crime and justice, said: "To put today's crime survey figures into context, only two out of 10 adults experienced crime in the latest year."

Concerns over serious violence intensified this year after a spate of fatal stabbings and shootings, with London in particular badly hit by bloodshed.

The rise in recorded homicides in the last year continues an "upward trend" since March 2014, indicating a change to the long-term decrease over the previous decade, according to the ONS report.

The latest figures come as Crimestoppers said people are using its anonymous call service in growing numbers because some are uneasy about approaching police.

The charity has reported an increase of 75% in calls regarding modern slavery in its figures for 2017-18.

The number of calls to report domestic abuse increased by 37% for the previous 12 months, while reports of possession of weapons grew by 35%.

Crimestoppers CEO Mark Hallas said: "Our increased numbers are a combination of a minority of the population feeling unable or unwilling to go to the police and of our re-positioning ourselves as a community organisation empowering the public to speak up and stay safe.

"If we weren't here then where would the callers go? It would be wrong to say automatically that they would go to the police," he added.