According to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the number of people cautioned or convicted for carrying knives in England and Wales has reached record levels.
The data shows that in the year to September 2019 there were 14,135 offences, the highest figure since the data was first recorded in 2007. The addition of offences for possession of other weapons meant the total reached 22,300, the highest since 2009.
According to the report, the majority of offenders (71 per cent) were committing their first knife-related offence.
Offenders are now more likely to be handed an immediate jail sentence for knife and weapon offences, and for longer.
In the twelve months to September, 38 per cent of knife and offensive weapon offences resulted in an immediate custodial sentence compared with 23 per cent for the same period in 2009.
The average length of prison sentences also rose over the same period, from six to eight-month.
The Government now plan to form a new cabinet committee which will look at ways to improve their current attempts to tackle the crime.
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.”