Fatal stabbings at highest level since start of decade

8 February 2018, 14:33

Knife killings in England and Wales are at the highest level since the start of the decade.

There were 215 homicides (murder, manslaughter or infanticide) using a knife or other sharp instrument in the year to March 2017.

The figure was similar to 2015-16, when there were 212, but it was the highest number of such killings since 2010-11, when there were 236, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Detailed analysis of homicides showed the most common method of killing was by knife or other sharp instrument.

The 215 victims killed by a knife or other sharp object in 2016-17 accounted for 30% of the total 709 homicides that year.

From April 2016 to March 2017, 164 males died as a result of being stabbed - the highest number since the year ending March 2009, when there were 180.

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There were 51 girls and women stabbed to death in the same period, the lowest number in 10 years.

Across both males and females, 67 of those who were fatally stabbed were aged 24 or under - almost a third of the total.

All but 10 of those were male.

Police recorded 37,443 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the 12 months to September 2017.

This represents a rise of more than a fifth (21%) on the previous year.

The latest figures follow a series of fatal stabbings in London during the New Year.