NEWS
18/10/2018 10:02 BST | Updated 18/10/2018 12:09 BST

Homicide Rate In England And Wales Hits 10-Year High, Figures Show

Overall crimes recorded by police rose 9%.

Homicides in England and Wales have reached the highest levels in a decade, with knife offences also at a record high, new figures show.

Murder and manslaughter offences jumped 14% in the year up to June 2018, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics.

The figure rose from 630 police recorded homicides in July 2017, to 719 in June – the last time homicides exceeded 700 was in March 2008, when there were 775.

The data excludes terrorist attacks seen in London and Manchester last year.

Offences involving a knife or sharp instrument rose 12% to almost 40,000 – the highest figure since records began in April 2009. The data excludes figures from Greater Manchester Police.

The NHS also recorded more hospital admissions caused by assaults involving a sharp instrument.

Meanwhile, firearm offences dropped 5%, to 6,392 between in the 12 months up to June.

The ONS crime data is the first release to emerge following a recent wave of violent and knife crime in London and around the UK.

By September, London had recorded 100 homicides with nearly three in five being fatal stabbings and a third of victims aged 16 to 24, according to the Press Association.

Overall, there were 5.6 million police recorded offences – up almost a tenth (9%) since June 2017.

Joe Trainer, ONS statistician, said: “Over recent decades, we’ve seen continued falls in overall levels of crime but in the last year the trend has been more stable.

“The latest figures show no change in the total level of crime but variation by crime types. We saw rises in some types of theft and in some lower-volume but higher-harm types of violence, balanced by a fall in the high-volume offence of computer misuse.

“There was no change in other high-volume offences such as overall violence, criminal damage and fraud.”

Some two out of 10 adults experienced crime in the last year.

The ONS release said many of the “lower-volume, higher-harm” types of violence were mainly concentrated in London and other metropolitan areas.

Sexual offences recorded by police rose almost a fifth, while the proportion of adults who experienced sexual assault in the year ending March 2018 increased 0.8 percentage points, to 2.7%.

The rise has been attributed to more people coming forward to report a sexual offence, as well as improved police records.

However the figure for adults who experienced sexual assault are thought to be “unreliable” the ONS said, because of the “high-levels of non-response” to the specific question.

Revelations of sexual harassment and abuse have been widespread across the worlds of entertainment, politics and beyond over the last year.

The rise of movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up have brought to light a number of allegations against high-profile figures, most of which have been men.

The ONS figures acknowledge this may have encouraged better reporting of incidents, but added that “it’s difficult to tell if this is a genuine increase”.

It said in the release: “There has been increased public awareness and discussion about these types of crimes due to high-profile cases and social media campaigns.”

Public order offences recorded by police rose 30%, which the ONS said was largely down to better recording practices.

Computer misuse offences fell by almost a third to 1.1 million, the Crime Survey for England and Wales also showed.

Robberies were up by more than a fifth (22%), to almost 80,000 offences.

The latest figures incorporated findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, and police recorded crime.