New report shows true scale of knife crime in Wiltshire

New report shows true scale of knife crime in Wiltshire

Published by Mike Draper at 11:14am 19th July 2019.

Incidents involving blades and sharp weapons in the county have more than doubled in the past four years according to official statistics.

  • In the past 12 months there were 287 crimes involving a knife
  • Between 2014-15 there were 134 crimes involving a knife
  • Over the past 9 years, the number knife related incidents recorded by Wiltshire Police has risen by 95 percent

Nationally knife crime offences also hit a record high between 2018-19, jumping by 8% on the previous year in England and Wales. The figures revealed 43,516 police-recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, the highest since comparable records began in 2011.

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Only last month a man was arrested by Police in Salisbury after reportedly 'threatening people with a knife' on The Friary.

ANTI-KNIFE CAMPAIGN TARGETS WILTSHIRE SCHOOLS

Early this year Wiltshire Police sent a new leaflet called 'No Knife Safer Life' into schools in an effort to highlight to youngsters the consequences of carrying a knife. As Spire FM News reported, it was part of a campaign called Operation Sceptre.

WHAT ELSE DO THE CRIME FIGURES REVEAL ABOUT WILTSHIRE?

Wiltshire is said to be 'bucking the national trend' when it comes to the latest crime figures from the Official for National Statistics (ONS).

Wiltshire Police is one of a few forces nationwide where the number of overall reported crimes has fallen.

  • Between March 2018 and March 2019, burglaries and vehicle crime dropped by 23 percent and 28 percent respectively
  • With vehicle crime, that's more than a thousand fewer cars, vans and trucks being broken in to
A suspicious looking man is shown appearing to be trying to break into a parked car. A new report says between March 2018 and March 2019 burglaries and vehicle crime in Wiltshire dropped by around a quarter.
From March 2018 to March 2019 burglaries and vehicle crime in Wiltshire dropped by around a quarter

Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire and Swindon's Police and Crime Commissioner, has welcomed the latest figures and said the day to day crimes which people often experience are being dealt with effectively by this comparatively small, rural force where the staff and officers work hard to deliver the best service possible within the funding given:

"As we know, Wiltshire is a safe county and I am pleased to see these latest figures highlight the on-going work being done by this Force to continually prevent crime and protect our communities."

"Our improved recording practices, which Wiltshire Police has been focusing on 18 months ahead of most other forces, has helped with the accuracy of these figures."

"In the last set of ONS statistics, burglary and vehicle crime had dropped and it is heartening to see that this continues - a result of me challenging the Chief Constable and his team on the improvement on burglary and vehicle crime numbers."

"This type of scrutiny from me and my office is crucial to ensure Wiltshire Police continues to deliver for the communities it serves."

A masked man holding a crowbar stands outside a door to a building, he is apparently poised to attempt to break in.
Wiltshire Police is one of a few forces nationwide where the number of overall reported crimes has fallen.

OTHER CRIMES ON THE RISE IN WILTSHIRE

  • There were 21 more robberies recorded, an increase of 7 percent, in 2019 compared to the 2018 figure
  • The robbery figure is still lower than the national average of 11 per cent
  • Stalking and harassment incidents also leapt up by 42 percent

Superintendent Sarah Robbins told Spire FM News the force is never complacent and remains focused when it comes to tackling all crimes and offenders:

"In relation to the increase in stalking and harassment offences, the jump comes after a change in the way this type of crime is now recorded separately to other crimes."

"We take this very seriously which is reflected by how we follow stringent national guidelines which gives clarity to what this type of abuse this is."

"Also, our officers are receiving on-going and in-depth training helping them to understand and deal with these cases and the often innocent people who find themselves on the receiving end of what can be a very frightening experience."

WILTSHIRE CRIME STATS: "IT LOOKS FAR MORE ALARMING THAN IT IS..."

Sarah added by saying:

"With robberies, it is always concerning to see a rise in an offence which can increase the fear of crime in communities. However, we need to put some context around this, as a small force with a large rural footprint, robbery offences are generally low which means that when there is a small increase in numbers of recorded crimes, as we have seen here, the percentage increase can appear high - it looks far more alarming than it is and let's not forget it is still lower than the national average."

"However, we will never be blase about this and we continue to address this type of crime and its causes. examples include: the on-going preventative work around knife crime and the tackling of Organised Criminal Gangs linked to drug supply and County Lines through the proactive work by our Dedicated Crime Teams."

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The full ONS report and crime statistics for Wiltshire.

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