Cardiff Knife Crime Rises 50% Since 2014

The number of child knife crime offenders in Cardiff has jumped from just eight in 2014/15 to 28 in 2019/20, including five who were under the age of 12.

By Naffie and Darcy-Rose, Cardiff · April 29, 2020

Pic: Shutterstock

Knife crime in Cardiff rose from 152 to 231 offences annually between 2014/15 and 2019/20120.

In 2014/15, 152 incidents were recorded, a figure which increased to its highest level in 2018/19 with 295 incidents.

2019/2020 showed a reduction in numbers from 2018, at 231 incidents, lower than both the peak in 2018/19 and 2017/18, which had 265 incidents.

The findings were made by media literacy charity The Student View, following submission of a Freedom of Information request to South Wales Police. Knife-related crimes are categorised by the police as Violence Against The Person, Sexual Offences, Robbery, Burglary, Theft & Handling or Damage. 

2017/18 saw nine sexual offences, as opposed to 2014/15, which had just one. Robberies almost doubled from 2014/15 to 2019/20, from 32 to 62 incidents. 

The number of child offenders, on the other hand, has risen. In 2014/15, one 11-year-old, two 14-year-olds, one 16-year-old and four 17-year-olds committed knife crimes, a total of eight child offenders. 

By comparison, in 2019/20, two children aged nine and 10 were arrested. Three 11-year-olds, one 12-year-old and eight 13-year-olds were arrested. A further two 14-year-olds, four 15-year-olds, and eight children of 16 and 17 were arrested. The total of 28 children is a rise of 250% from 2014/15 and the highest total in the last five years. It’s not clear what happened to the nine-year-old, as they were below the age of criminal responsibility.

South Wales Police said: “Tackling knife crime is an absolute priority for South Wales Police and we will never be complacent about the issue.

“Every incident involving a knife is one too many, although, mercifully, knife crime in South Wales is not at the level in some other parts of the UK.
“Cardiff is a safe city, and we would urge our communities to bear in mind that most people will not be affected by knife crime.
“But, of course, every incident involving a knife has far-reaching consequences for all those involved, and we are determined to work alongside partner organisations to address the root causes and apprehend those involved in this criminality.
“Under Operation Sceptre, we have put in place a number of measures to address any concerns communities may have, and clamp down on those who are carrying and using knives. Dedicated covert teams in Cardiff and Swansea are the streets making life very uncomfortable for anyone who matches the profile of those involved in knife crime. Complementing that, we carried out more than 12,400 stop-searches across the force area during 2019.
“Families and communities can also play a role in helping tackle serious violence by taking responsibility for their children and young adults who are on the fringes of criminality or at risk of carrying a knife.
“We urge everyone to speak to their loved ones, but also let their local police or community support officers know if they think someone is carrying a knife. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted, completely anonymously, on 0800 555111.”