Knife crime reports down by 13 per cent in Hertfordshire last year

Knife crime in Hertfordshire went down in 2018. Picture: Michael Boyton

Knife crime in Hertfordshire went down in 2018. Picture: Michael Boyton - Credit: Archant

The number of knife crimes reported in Hertfordshire dropped in 2018 when compared to the previous year – despite seeing an overall increase in England and Wales.

New figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) provides information on knife crimes in 2018 compared to 2017, using police reported crime data.

In Hertfordshire the numbers of serious offences involving a knife in 2018 went down by 13 per cent compared to 2017, while crimes with this weapon increased by six per cent in the rest of the country.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd credits the county’s knife amnesty scheme as key to reducing the incidents from 564 in 2017 to 490 in 2018.

“I continued to invest additional funding last year, and this year, in groups that work with children and young adults who may be drawn in to serious violence,” Mr Lloyd said.

A knife amnesty running in Hertfordshire during March this year – with bins to deposit weapons in Hatfield, Potters Bar, Stevenage and Watford – led to 680 knives being surrendered.

Recorded knife crimes are also down by six per cent in Bedfordshire and 26 per cent in Cambridgeshire – when comparing 2018 to the previous year.

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But throughout the East of England – which includes these three counties plus Norfolk, Sussex and Essex – knife crime has increased steadily since 2011, with a 32 per cent hike when comparing the year to 2018.

“Knife crimes are very serious offences and we are working very hard with partners to make sure that it is reduced in the county,” Mr Lloyd added.

Most of the knife crimes, 58 per cent, reported to the police were either threats to kill or intention to assault offences.

“Understandably this is a key public concern that I share, and I am committed to making a real difference and combating it.

“While Hertfordshire remains a very safe county we are not immune to national trends and county line crime,” he said

Nearly all of the rest of the knife crimes reported were as part of robberies.

In general possession of weapons offences were on the up in Hertfoshire and increased by 22 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017.

Recorded crime, in total, was up by four per cent during a similar period.