Can the UK's knife crime 'epidemic' be tamed?

Fatal stabbings are on the rise but campaigners are divided over punitive threats vs. public health interventions

Photo composite of people pulling down an oversized flick knife
Crimes involving knives or sharp objects increased by 5% during the year ending September 2023, new figures show
(Image credit: Illustrated / Getty Images)

As Labour and the Conservatives get into election mode, their pledges and ideas to tackle knife crime are under increasing scrutiny.

There is some debate over whether recent knife crime statistics amount to an upward trend, or a return to business as usual after a significant drop during the pandemic. There were nearly 49,000 crimes in England and Wales involving knives or sharp objects during the year ending September 2023, according to newly published Home Office statistics – an increase of 5% year on year. 

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