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Warning as ‘high harm’ violence rises in England and Wales

1:50 pm, 19th July 2018

A total of 701 murders were recorded by police in the year to March 2018 – the fourth consecutive increase – according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This figure excludes cases linked to terror attacks and the Hillsborough disaster.

Knife crime has also continued to rise, with police recording 40,147 offences.

When it came to overall crime, forces logged a total of 5.5 million offences, a rise of a 11% compared with the previous year.

There was also a 2% increase in gun crime, with 6,492 offences recorded.

The number of robberies recorded by the police increased by 30%. and there was a 17% rise in thefts from vehicles.

Although there has been a long-term downward trend in burglaries and robberies, crimes involving mopeds may have contributed to an increase in some types of theft.

Computer crime saw a 31% drop largely because of a decrease in viruses.

The Office for National Statistics, which published the figures, said: “Over recent decades, we’ve seen a fall in overall levels of crime, a trend that now looks to be stabilising.”

The figures also show that 48% of investigations into recorded crimes are closed without a suspect being identified.

Caroline Youell, of the ONS, said most people do not experience crime.

She said: “Today’s figures show a fairly stable picture in England and Wales for most crime types.

“It is too early to say if this is a change to the long-term declining trend.

“There have been increases in some lower-volume “high-harm” offences such as homicide and knife crime, consistent with rises over the past three years.”

Alex Mayes, policy and public affairs adviser for charity Victim Support, said: “It’s truly shocking to see these rises in homicides and violent crime such as knife crime.

“While overall crime levels are generally stable, these increases in some high harm crimes are concerning.

“Too many lives are being shattered by these violent crimes.”