'Growing problem' of knife crime in Suffolk revealed as statistics show 25% rise in five years
PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:55 10 March 2019
Fears have been raised of the "growing problem" of knife crime in Suffolk after statistics revealed offences involving blades have gone up 25% in five years.
Data published by the Home Office showed the number of offences involving sharp instruments went up from 159 between September 2012 and September 2013, to 198 in the 12 months to September 2018.
Despite the increase, the figures from the Home Office suggest Suffolk has had one of the smallest increases in knife offences across the country.
However Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Knife crime is a growing problem here in Suffolk and it’s got to stop.
“Carrying a knife just doesn’t make you safe and sadly, as we all know, it can lead to dreadful consequences.
“Awareness of the dangers of carrying a blade of any sort is crucially important and I would implore all parents to talk to their children about the dangers of knife crime.”
The figures also revealed that the number of homicides in Suffolk involving knives or sharp instruments increased from two to three in the same period.
The statistics include the death of 17-year-old Tavis Spencer-Aitkens in Ipswich last June – for which six people are currently standing trial - and Lowestoft father Scott Tarrant in July 2018, for which Steven Butcher received a 22-year sentence at the beginning of February.
They do not include the death of Ipswich man Daniel Saunders in December, for which a 17-year-old boy has been charged.
The largest increase in knife crime was seen in the City of London, where the number of such offences grew by 638%.
In Essex, the number of offences involving knives went up 103% - from 267 between September 2012 and September 2013, to 541 in 12 months to September 2018.
The number of homicides in Essex involving knifes went from two to nine in the same period.
The only place to see a smaller rise in knife crime was Sussex, which had an increase of 11%.
Both prime minister Theresa May and home secretary Sajid Javid have come under increasing pressure in recent days to deal with the problem of knife crime nationally, following the deaths of Yousef Makki and Jodie Chesney in separate attacks just days apart.
Mr Javid has pledged to give police forces the resources they need to tackle the issue.