Knife crime in Wales more than doubles in 10 years
Recorded offences in Wales involving knives or other sharp instruments have more than doubled in the last decade, according to analysis carried out by the Labour Party.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that such crimes have ballooned from 598 in 2013 to more than 1,500 a decade later, increasing by two and a half times.
Altogether, there were 1,574 such offences in Wales during the 12 months to September 2023, including 163 in Dyfed-Powys, 376 in Gwent, 316 in North Wales and 719 in South Wales.
The figures include 11 attempted murders involving a knife, of which there was 1 in Dyfed-Powys, 3 in Gwent, 4 in North Wales and 3 in South Wales.
Threats to kill
There were 261 threats to kill offences involving a knife – 55 in Dyfed-Powys, 80 in Gwent, 48 in North Wales and 78 in South Wales.
In addition there were 998 assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm offences involving a knife, of which 93 were in Dyfed-Powys, 214 in Gwent, 219 in North Wales and 472 in South Wales.
In terms of rape and sexual assault offences, there were 33 involving a knife, made up of 1 in Dyfed-Powys, 6 in Gwent, 13 in North Wales and 13 in South Wales.
And there were 3 homicides involving a knife in Wales – 1 in Dyfed-Powys, 0 in Gwent and 1 each in North Wales and South Wales.
Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens accused the UK Conservatives of overseeing “14 years of neglect”, with knife crime “wreaking havoc on our communities”.
Both Gwent and Dyfed-Powys saw three-fold increases in knife crime over the decade, reflecting a wider trend across England and Wales which is seeing crime rise faster in rural areas. This surge in violence has been blamed on county lines gangs that import heroin and cocaine from cities.
The latest Home Office crime statistics for England and Wales police force areas suggest that six in 10 possession of weapons offences went uncharged last year..
Overall, knife-enabled crime recorded by the police increased by 5% (48,716 offences) compared with the year ending September 2022 (46,367 offences). Notable increases were seen in the number of robberies involving a knife or sharp instrument (up 19% compared with the previous year). However, knife-enabled crime overall was still 5% lower than pre-Covid-19 levels in the year ending March 2020, which saw 51,228 offences.
Labour has committed to halving serious violence within a decade and to restore neighbourhood policing by recruiting 13,000 new officers and PCSOs across England and Wales.
Ms Stevens, the MP for Cardiff Central, said: “The Tories talk tough on knife crime – yet on their watch it is rising at an alarming rate. After 14 years of neglect, this is no longer just an issue affecting inner cities as the Conservatives suggest – it is wreaking havoc on communities across Wales.
“The next Labour government will halve serious violence within a decade. We will get neighbourhood police back on the streets and deliver a serious preventative programme to tackle this violence once and for all.”
Ms Stevens recently made it clear that UK Labour under Sir Keir Starmerhas no intention of devolving policing powers to Wales if it comes to power after the next general election.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.