Knife crime hits record high in Dorset

Knife crime hits record high in Dorset

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:28am 24th January 2020.

Hundreds of criminals were convicted or cautioned for knife and offensive weapons crimes in Dorset last year.

The number of offences dealt with hit a record high.

Ministry of Justice statistics show that criminals were cautioned or sentenced for knife and offensive weapons offences in Dorset on 235 occasions in the year to September 2019 – the most since records began in 2009.

In Dorset, under-18s accounted for 23% of sentences or cautions for knife and offensive weapon crime in the year to September 2019.

Savory knife

Across England and Wales, they made up 21% of cases.

The recent trend was mirrored across England and Wales, where the figure for such offences hit 22,300 – the highest since records began in 2009.

The number includes possession of, or threatening with, a knife or other offensive weapon.

knife 2

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott says there is little chance of tackling rising knife crime until the Government deals with a crisis created by cuts to policing, schools and health services.

She added:

“Unfortunately, until they tackle the crises they created through cuts to policing, schools, to mental health and drug services, there can be little confidence of any major improvement.”

Police night

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said the Government urgently needs to find long-term solutions to turn vulnerable children away from crime before they reach for a knife.

“Increasing the number and length of sentences can only be part of the solution, as this may not deter young people who are suffering a poverty of hope,” he added.

“Often they have no qualifications, no job prospects, and no role models, making them vulnerable to criminal gangs who force them to deliver drugs and carry knives to protect themselves.”

  • Across England and Wales, 38% of knife and offensive weapon offences ended with someone going straight to jail in the year to September 2019 – a record high.
  • The average time spend behind bars also increased over the period, from six to eight months.