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Offensive Weapons

November 5, 2008

Question written on 05/11/2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many incidents of violence against the person involving a knife were recorded (a) in total and (b) per 1,000 of the population for (i) England, (ii) the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area and (iii) Bath and North East Somerset in each year from 1997 to 2008;(2) how many incidents of violence against the person where a fatality has occurred as a result of a knife wound were recorded (a) in total and (b) per 1,000 of the population for (i) England, (ii) the Avon and Somerset Constabulary area and (iii) Bath and North East Somerset in each year from 1997 to 2008.

Answered by Alan Campbell

Available data on serious offences involving knives and sharp instruments are available only for England and Avon and Somerset relating to 2007-08, and are given in table A.The number of homicides involving sharp instruments recorded from 1997-98 up to and including 2006-07 is shown in table B.Data collected centrally for both of these data series cannot be broken down lower than police force area level. Table A: Number of serious( 1) offences involving a knife or sharp instrument, recorded by the police, and offences per 100,000 population-.England and Avon and Somerset, 2007-08 Total of selected serious offences( 2) Offences per 100,000 populationEngland20,98541Avon and Somerset36023(1) Other offences exist that are not included in this table that may include the use of knife or sharp instrument. ‘Offences involving a knife’ refers to the use of a knife or sharp instrument.(2)( )Total selected serious offences only included in the: attempted murder, wounding with intent to do GBH, wounding or inflicting GBH i.e. without intent, robbery of business property and robbery of personal property. Table B: Offences currently recorded as homicides( 1) where a sharp instrument( 2) was used and there is a current suspect, 1997-98 to 2006-07( 3, 4) England Avon and Somerset Number of offences Offences per 100,000 population Number of offences Offences per 100,000 population1997-981910.3930.201998-99(2)1890.3850.341999-002040.4150.342000-012060.4130.202001-02(3)2470.4940.262002-032550.5240.272003-042390.4840.272004-052460.4940.272005-062120.4220.132006-072370.4730.20(1)( )As at 12 November 2007;figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts or as further information becomes available.(2) Homicides involving any sharp instrument, including knives.(3) Offences are shown according to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made.(4) Data for 2007-08 are scheduled to be published in January 2009.