425% Rise In Knife Crimes Closed Without A Suspect In Leeds

There was also a 124% increase in crimes of this nature over five years.

By Coby and George, Leeds · June 3, 2020

Pic: Shutterstock

Knife crime has been on the rise in Leeds, before decreasing in incidents last year.

There were 477 knife crimes in Leeds in 2014, followed by 631 in 2015. 2016 saw the figure rise yet again, to 713 incidents annually, and a further 960 in 2017. In 2018, there were 1,069 knife crimes in the city. This indicates a rise of 124% over five years.

Furthermore, there was a 425% increase in the number of investigations into knife-related crimes being closed without a suspect ID from 2014 to 2018. 68 were closed in this manner in 2014, compared to 357 in 2018.

In 2019, however, the total number of knife crimes began what is hoped to be a downward trajectory, with 780 in total. 

West Yorkshire Police note in the report, “these figures do not solely refer to knives. They also cover articles with a blade or point. This can include a piece of broken glass or bottle and also includes offences where threats are made to use a knife but no knife is actually seen.

A spokesperson for the police said “West Yorkshire Police takes a victim-led approach to crime recording and we have made some good improvements as to how crime is recorded which is reflected in the consistent numbers across a three year period.

“The number of people aged under 18 reported to be in possession of articles with a blade or point, or a knife has increased. Since this increase West Yorkshire Police have placed dedicated Safer Schools Officers who work in partnership with secondary schools across the county. As part of their role, Safer Schools Officers speak to young people about the dangers of carrying a knife and the potential consequences. 

“The work of our partners and community based projects is important, as is the vigilance of families who believe one of their relatives may carry weapons. Tackling it requires everyone to work together through a variety of approaches, from school inputs and awareness campaigns, to weapons surrenders which are always successful in taking weapons out of circulation, to actively targeting offenders.”

The data was sourced by the media literacy charity The Student View.