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Barnardo's working to help stem the rise of knife crime

Release Date: 01 Jan 2018

Barnardo's is working with an all-party parliamentary group of MPs and Red Threads youth work charity to investigate the root causes of knife crime as the latest statistics reveal they are at their highest level since 2011.

The Ministry of Justice figures show that offenders were aged under 18 in more than a quarter of the 16,059 cases dealt with by the criminal justice system.

Since last year the figure for offenders aged from 10 to 17 has shot up from 3,811 offences to 4,439, an increase of 16%.

Back in 2011 the statistics showed there were 17,129 overall and this year the figure is slightly lower at 16,059. But for offenders aged under 18 the figure has increased from the 3,800 cases in 2011 to the 4,439 estimated for this year.

And during the third quarter of 2017 (July to September) there were 5,324 knife crime offences overall, compared to 4,972 in the same period last year - this is a rise of 7%.

Barnardo's Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

Statistics released today show a 16% increase in the numbers of 10 to 17 year olds cautioned or sentenced for knife possession offences, compared to last year, make sombre reading.

From Barnardo’s work with the most vulnerable children and young people, we know that the reason they get involved in knife crime or gangs can be complex, but action to help stem the increase is vital.

We are currently working with an all-party parliamentary group of MPs to investigate the root causes of knife crime - with particular focus on prevention and early intervention.  Hopefully, this inquiry will result in some much needed focus on how to support young people to build a better and more positive future for themselves.

Sarah Jones, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime, said:

Today's figures show knife possession offences continue to grow at a worrying rate. Offences have now reached a six-year high and this is reflected by the fact that 2017 is set to be one of the worst years for the last four decades for child knife deaths.

I continue to press the Government to treat knife crime as a public health crisis and invest across Government in prevention programmes.

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