The number of violent crimes committed in England and Wales has risen by 37 per cent, according to the latest quarterly figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Homicides increased by 14 per cent, fuelled by a 9 per cent hike in knife crime and a 4 per cent rise in gun crime, largely attributed to gang violence in London and Manchester, says The Guardian.
It marks the largest overall increase in in more than a decade, but police chiefs have defended the rise.
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Chief Constable Jeff Farrar, of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said many of the notable increases in specific crimes were down to more reporting and better recording.
However, he acknowledged that the rise in knife crime was a "worrying development" and promised that "chief officers are working together to determine how best to respond".
Policing minister Mike Penning said the numbers were welcome news.
"The ONS is clear that this rise reflects improvements in recording practice and a willingness of victims to come forward," he said.
But Labour was quick to pin the blame on cutbacks made by the Conservative government.
"The Tories have slashed police officers by 17,000 and broke their promise to the public to protect frontline officer numbers," said shadow policing minister Jack Dromey.
"The first duty of any government is the safety and security of our citizens," he added. "The biggest cuts to any police force in Europe is letting the British people down."
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