Knife crime in Wakefield: Figures show a worrying rise in number of incidents in our city

Knife crime in Wakefield has risen by 157 per cent since 2010, it has been revealed.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 10:17 am
Updated Monday, 11th November 2019, 10:28 am

New data, released by West Yorkshire Police, shows that the number of knife crimes recorded in the district rose from 95 in 2010/11 to 245 in 2018/19, an increase of 157 per cent.

An average of 4.7 knife crimes were reported each week in 2018/19, the data shows.

The number of firearm crimes recorded by police in the district also rose by 20 per cent in the same period.

It comes as Wakefield is awarded a grant of more than £538,000 to help tackle knife crime among 10-14 year olds.

A force spokesman said: “We take knife crime very seriously in West Yorkshire. It can cause harm in the communities we serve and we are committed to dedicating resources to prevent it from happening and dealing with it when it does.

“We launched Operation Jemlock in April after receiving some extra funding from the Home Office.

“As a result we have been able to deploy officers working extra shifts patrolling in key areas where we know they can make a difference.

“Thanks to the hard work of these officers we have seen some encouraging early results from the first six months of the operation. From April to September 2019, there has been a 13.4% reduction in offences with knives, compared to the same period last year.

“Jemlock officers have made over 1,200 arrests for a range of serious offences, seized 100 weapons and carried out 1088 stop searches to keep people safer on our streets.

“Our message is that carrying a knife is never the answer. By doing so you are significantly increasing the danger to yourself. We urge young people in particular, to think again. We say to them think of your loved ones as well as yourselves and the anguish that would be caused by getting seriously injured – or worse.

“The consequences of knife crime can be devastating for all those involved.”

The ward with the highest recorded number of knife crimes in 2018/19 was Wakefield East, with 29. This was more than double the previous year, in which just 14 knife crimes were recorded.

The area with the highest number of firearm crimes was Knottingley, with 19 recorded crimes in 2018/19.

Alongside the data, released in response to a Freedom of Information request, West Yorkshire Police note that the figures “do not solely refer to knives”, but also cover articles with a blade or point, such as broken glass.

Incidents where a threat is made but no knife is seen are also included.

Across the district, knife crime numbers have fluctuated each year, falling to 92 in 2011/2012 before rising again.

More than 100 knife crimes have been reported each year since 2012/13.