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Knife possession offences in England and Wales reach record high

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The number of people cautioned or convicted for carrying knives in England and Wales has reached record levels, Ministry of Justice data shows.There were 14,135 offences in the year to September 2019 - the most since the data was first compiled in 2007.When possession offences involving other weapons were added, the total was almost 22,300 - the most since 2009.This week it was reported Boris Johnson will lead a new cabinet committee looking at ways to tackle the crime.It comes after data released by the Office for National Statistics in October revealed police-recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument hit a record high in the year to June - up 7% on the previous 12 months to 44,076.
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Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan said: "We need to tackle the root causes and understand why those involved carry knives."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."The new government urgently needs to work with charities, education, health, youth workers, the criminal justice system and local communities to find long-term solutions, so vulnerable children have a reason to turn away from crime."On Tuesday, the Times reported that Mr Johnson had ordered all Whitehall departments to take action on tackling crime.According to the paper, the prime minister told ministers every department should consider itself a criminal justice department as part of a drive to look at the "complex causes of crime", which would involve long-term reforms to improve health, social care, youth services and education.Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said there was "no evidence" in the data the government's approach to tackling knife crime was having a positive effect. "Rising knife crime undermines all the Tory claims on law and order. 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," the Labour frontbencher added.Justice minister Chris Philp said the government was recruiting 20,000 more police officers, replacing those lost over the last decade, was extending stop-and-search powers and ensuring the most violent offenders were kept in prison for longer. "These figures should serve as a stark warning to those carrying knives - you are more likely to be jailed, and for longer, than at any point in the last decade," he added.
Knife crime
Ministry of Justice
Crime
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