Knife crime offences have reached an all-time high in England and Wales, with 43,516 incidents being reported to the police last year.
The official statistics showed that the rate of knife crime for the year to March 2019 was the highest since comparable records began in 2011, and represented an eight per cent increase on the previous year.
The data was released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) but doesn’t include Greater Manchester Police, which records data differently.
In total, there was a rise of more than 3,000 knife crime offences from 2017/18, with an increase of 42 per cent since 2011.
The number of homicides also increased last year to 701 from 693 in 2017/18.
Mike Bangs, Office for National Statistics Centre for Crime and Justice, said: “The picture of crime is a complex one.
“Overall levels of crime have remained steady, but this is not the case for all types of crime.
“For example, overall levels of violence have remained steady but we have seen increases in violent crimes involving knives and sharp instruments.
“We have seen increases in fraud and overall theft, but decreases in burglary following recent rises.”
Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Barnado’s, said: “It’s unacceptable that the knife crime crisis continues unabated with offences at record levels.
“Children are not born with knives in their hands, knife crime is a symptom of a much bigger problem.”