The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Knife Crime is co-chaired by Vauxhall MP Florence Eshalomi and Coventry North West MP Taiwo Owatemi, and supported by the charities Barnardo’s and Redthread.
In a statement they said:
“This drop in knife and offensive weapon offences should be something to celebrate. But this is not the case. Instead the statistics serve as a stark reminder that knife crime has not stopped during the pandemic. If anything lockdowns may have masked the scale of the problem.
“Before the first lockdown these offences were at their highest level in England and Wales since 2010 and although we saw offences drop during the first national lockdown we are sadly already beginning to see them rise again.
“As a society, we must get to grips with this issue. We need to address the poverty of hope felt by many children and young people across the country who see little or no chance of a positive future. This feeling is set to increase even more as the recession bites.
"Young people carry knives because they don’t feel safe, or because they are being controlled and exploited by criminal gangs. Many were extremely vulnerable before the pandemic and the current situation has only exacerbated the problem as many services to help vulnerable young people have been cut back.
"The Government must use the opportunity of the Serious Violence Bill to lead a joined up approach to tackling knife crime and other forms of serious violence. We look forward to working with Ministers to ensure the legislation improves support and safeguards for vulnerable young people. We must recognise that we cannot simply police our way out of this problem."