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Homicide figures at highest level in a decade

The number of homicides last year was at its highest in any calendar year since 2007, when the total was 765.

Knife crime (Katie Collins/PA)
Knife crime (Katie Collins/PA)

There were 732 homicides in England and Wales last year – the highest number in a decade, official figures show.

Police-recorded offences involving knives or sharp instruments were also up by 6% in 2018 compared with the previous year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Thursday.

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(PA Graphics)

The number of homicides last year was at its highest in any calendar year since 2007, when the total was 765.

The figures come after a spate of knife crimes involving young people triggered a political row over cuts to police funding.

One of the latest killings was that of an 18-year-old man who was stabbed to death in the Harborne area of Birmingham on Wednesday evening.

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(PA Graphics)

The ONS release showed an increase in knife offences in 31 of the 43 police forces in the year leading up to December.

More than 40,800 offences involving knives or sharp objects were reported across all the forces excluding Greater Manchester Police.

The number of violent offences recorded by police was more than 1,608,500 last year – a 19% increase on 2017.

However, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) suggested there was no overall increase in violent offences.

The ONS considers the CSEW a better indication of overall trends for this type of offending because lower-level attacks may be picked up in the survey but not reported to officers.

The rise in homicides, which includes murders and manslaughter, stood at 6%.

The total number of crimes recorded by police was 5.8 million, which was 7% more than in 2017.

PA

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