Knife offences soar to its highest in decade after polices stop-and-search crackdown

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THE number of knife offences has soared to its highest in a decade.

There were 22,306 blade and offensive weapon crimes in England and Wales in the year to June, Ministry of Justice figures reveal.

Knife offences have reached a decade high after a stop-and-search crackdown by police

This is a three per cent rise on the previous year and the highest since 2009 when there were 26,364.

The number of people cautioned or convicted for carrying knives also hit a record 14,135 in the year to September 2019.

Separate figures showed an even bigger rise in the number of stop-and- searches.

Police carried out 383,629 in the 12 months to the end of March, up from 282,231 in the previous year.

Government insiders said the figures showed the effectiveness of stop- and-search.

The Home Office said: Stop-and-search helps seize deadly weapons from our streets.

“We have always been clear no one should be stopped and searched due to race.

Of the 383,629 stop-and- searches, 279,601 resulted in no further action nearly three in four.

The MoJ figures showed that for 11,429 offenders caught with a knife 71 per cent it was their first crime of this kind.

They also revealed that in the year to September, 38 per cent of knife and offensive weapon crimes resulted in an immediate custodial sentence.

That is up from 23 per cent in the previous year.