By Charis Hill, Crime Editor | @HillCharis
Between May 17-18 London has seen a devastating rise in violent crime. Using data from the Met Police London based Solicitors, Lawtons found that homicide has risen by 44.4%; recorded rape has risen by 18.39%; sexual offences have increased by 11.04%, and overall violent crime in London is up by 5.3%.
Perhaps one of the most shocking statistics is that related to knife crime which has seen a huge rise 21.2%. In London alone, the total number of offences involving a knife or bladed instrument that have been recorded by cops in the year to March 2018 rose to 40,147, a seven-year high. 1,299 stabbings were recorded in London up to the end of April, according to official statistics from the Met Police. Over 250 knives and swords were seized across London in one week in February, and 283 people were arrested for possession of a knife or sword. However, by August, stabbings were reported on an almost daily basis. On June 11 two men in their 20s were found with “slash wounds” in Kensington High Street. Meanwhile, on the same day, a man in his early 20s was left fighting for his life after being stabbed in Bermondsey, South London. On June 12 a man in his 20s was left wounded having been stabbed in Kensington, West London. Just five days later, a 15-year-old was rushed to hospital following multiple stab wounds. In July another teenager was victim to the surge in knife crime, having been stabbed in the stomach with a 10-inch kitchen knife in Islington. Katerina Makunova, 17, was found dead 10 days later after an attack in Camberwell. On July 16 a man in his 40s was stabbed inside a Leicester Square casino. And, 6 days later a man was found knifed in Mill Hill, North London. Come August 1, another young soul was sadly taken in Camberwell; the 23-year-old was stabbed to death while two other men were taken to hospital for stab wounds. In Cambridge Gardens, Kingston-Upon-Thames, a man in his 20s died from stab wounds on August 5. On August 17 a teen was “disembowelled with a machete” in Camberwell, and a 42-year-old man was stabbed to death in Waltham Forest, East London. Another 23 years old was left fighting for their lives having been stabbed in Tulse Hill, South London on August 24. Meanwhile, a woman believed to be in her 60s was stabbed on Chariot Close. A 57-year-old woman was stabbed several times on August 26, though her injuries were non-life threatening. However, on August 27 a man was stabbed at Notting Hill Carnival. On August 28, a man in his 30s was rushed to hospital with knife wounds after a street fight in Camden, and on September 5, an adolescent was dashed to hospital following multiple stab wounds from a knife attack in Islington.
Lawtons broke down the data into violent crime and fashioned a map that draws attention to specific areas of the capital that have been most affected by the surge in criminal activity. Research found that Richmond-Upon-Thames – a particularly eloquent area home to Angelina Jolie, amongst other famous faces– has seen the biggest increase in violent crime against the person, at an incredulous 13.85 % rise. Harrow saw the next highest increase with a significant rise of 11.05%, Redbridge saw violent crime rise by 10.99% and Kingston-Upon-Thames saw an equally devastating rise of 10.98%.
However, despite the significant increase in violence against the person, and despite shouts of desperation from Police Forces across the country, the Government has continued to force cuts on the Met Police. The Met Police has been forced to cut £600 million from their budget resulting in a 30% decreased in Police Staff posts, 65% loss in Police Community Support Officers, the closure of 120 Police Stations and a loss of 114 police station front counters. The Met now employs fewer than 30,000 Police Officers, the lowest number in 15 years. The effect is profound, as it is reported the rate of solved murder cases has significantly decreased from 93% to 67%, and the rate of solved rape cases has dropped from 13% to 7%.
Despite frantic cries to reverse the cuts forced on the Police, it is reported the Government plan to cut a further £325 million.