The North East has seen a rise in tragic killings and assaults with a bladed article in recent years, with teenagers Holly Newton, Gordon Gault and Tomasz Olesczack the most recent to sustain fatal injuries.
Northumbria Police state that the most likely group to be in possession of knives are those aged between 15-19.
Sunderland Global Media sent out a Freedom of Information request to Northumbria Police to obtain information pertaining to the number of reported assaults with a bladed article over a three-year period.
“The data has been taken from systems and offences of the following type were included:
“Burglary, criminal damage, public disorder, robbery, sexual offences, and violence against the person.
“Where the following weapon types were used:
“Axe, blade, bladed instrument, chisel, hatchet, knife, machete, meat cleaver, razor, scissors, sword.”
Northumbria Police disclosed that in 2020, there were 292 assaults with a bladed article where the attacker was over the age of 18.
22 under the age of 18, and 343 at unknown ages.
In the year 2021 there were 265 reported assaults with a bladed article where the attacker was over the age of 18.
21 under the age of 18, and 356 at unknown ages.
Finally, in the year 2022 there were 240 reported assaults with a bladed article where the attacker was over the age of 18.
32 under the age of 18, and 444 at unknown ages.
There is currently no available data for 2023.
The information shows that knife crime among youths is on the rise, with 2022 being significantly higher than 2020.
In recently released information by the Office for National Statistics, Northumbria is ranked 12th on the list of the most dangerous places to live in England, with 95.4 reported crimes per 1000 people.
North East area Cleveland is ranked the most dangerous with 139.6 reported crimes per 1000 people.
Cleveland is made up of Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough.
A statement from Northumbria Police regarding knife crime on their website reads “Knife crime devastates the lives of victims and their families and brings misery and fear to our communities. We need to work together to ensure that everyone understands that carrying a knife can easily end in tragedy. By raising awareness of the consequences, Northumbria Police hopes that people will make the right decision and not carry a knife.
“Individuals who carry a knife often say it is out of fear and to protect themselves. We want people to know those who carry a knife or offensive weapon are actually putting themselves at greater risk of being seriously injured or killed themselves. Not only that, carrying a knife or offensive weapon is against the law and you could face up to four years in prison.
“Northumbria Police is also warning the friends and families who know their loved ones carry knives could also be prosecuted and sent to prison under the law of ‘joint enterprise’.
“We all have a role to play in tackling knife crime, by making the right choices we can save lives and keep our streets safe. Report anyone you know who carries a knife illegally.
“It has been found that people aged between 15-19 are the most likely group to be in possession of knifes. Those carrying a knife may not have the intentions to kill someone but that’s the reality of what could happen. In many cases innocent people have been the victims.
“Northumbria Police is working hard to combat knife crime alongside other partner agencies and communities. As a force we have found the most effective approach to tackle knife crime is through early intervention, education and enforcement. Our aim is to educate the public, particularly the younger generation. It’s about making them aware of the consequences, to make positive decisions, choose never to carry a knife and to report knife crime.”