During the period July to September 2009 there were 8,485 recorded offences involving knives or other sharp instruments, a 12% decrease on the previous year.
With the exception of homicide the recorded crime statistics had not previously separately identify crimes involving knives. Provisional data shows there were 255 homicides using a sharp instrument in 2008/09, accounting for 39% of all homicides.
According to the British Crime Survey (BCS) in 2008/09 a knife was used in 7% of all BCS incidents of violence, similar to the previous year’s proportion. The estimated number of BCS incidents of violence in which a knife was used has fallen from 181,000 in 2006/07 to 108,000 in 2008/09.
According to the 2006 Offending Crime and Justice Survey 3% of young people had carried a knife in the previous 12 months. Males were significantly more likely than females to have carried a knife (5% and 2% respectively). The peak age of knife carrying was 14 to 17 (7%).
NHS data suggests there were 4,914 people admitted to English hospitals in 2008/09 due to assault by a sharp object.
In 2008 6,368 offenders were found guilty in England and Wales of carrying a knife in a public place or on school premises, 84% of people prosecuted. Of those offenders found guilty 21% were given a custodial sentence.
Knife crime statistics