Figure 9: Crimes involving knives or sharp instruments are most often assaults with injury or assaults with intent to cause serious harm, and robberies
England and Wales, year ending March 2011 to year ending December 2018
Source: Home Office - Police recorded crime
Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics.
Police recorded knife or sharp instrument offences data are submitted via a special collection. This figure is based on this special collection. Other offences that are not shown in this chart may include the use of a knife or sharp instrument.
Police recorded crime statistics based on data from 43 police forces in England and Wales. Data from Greater Manchester Police are excluded. A review revealed that they were under-counting knife or sharp instrument offences. Following this review, there has been a sharp increase in the number of knife or sharp instrument offences recorded by GMP in January to December 2018 compared with previous quarters. Previous data have not been revised and the data are therefore not comparable.
Data from Surrey Police include unbroken bottle and glass offences, which are outside the scope of this special collection; however, it is not thought that offences of this kind constitute a large enough number to impact on the national figure.
An audit of Thames Valley Police into the recording of knife and sharp instrument offences since the introduction of their new recording system in April 2014 has revealed that they were previously under-counting these offences. Data for the year ending March 2016 have been revised, but data for the year ending March 2015 have not.
Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Police forces have implemented new crime recording systems, therefore, data for the latest year may be under-recorded. It is expected that this will be revised in future publications.
Data from Northumbria police have revised for the last two years (for year to December 2017 and year to December 2018). These revised data show an increase in the number of offences recorded. Data prior to this have not been revised.
Numbers differ from those previously published due to Sussex Police revising their figures to exclude unbroken bottles. Data for Sussex Police will be revised again in a future publication due to a number of recorded offences that involved a knife or sharp instrument not being identified as such. There is therefore currently an undercount of knife or sharp instrument offences for Sussex Police.
Other selected offences include rape, attempted murder, homicide and sexual assault.