Tally of knife crime shows drop in number of charges

NEW figures have revealed that there were 84 offences in Thurrock during 2018, making it the fourth most dangerous place in Essex for knife crime.

Just 14 charges were laid against suspects from those 84 recorded offences.

The county’s worst place for knife crime is Southend. Freedom of information findings reveal that the rate of serious knife offences committed in Southend is higher than any other town, despite an overall decline in the number of offences from 194 in 2017 to 138 in 2018.
Neighbouring Basildon had 92 offences.

The data also highlights that the majority of knife offences in Essex have been carried out by white males who are between the ages of 18 and 24 but a large portion have also been people under the age of 18.

Inspector Ian Hughes of Essex Police said: “Most people are unlikely to be directly affected by knife crime but we are committed to tackle violent and knife crime.

“We carry out patrols in hotspot areas, use stop and search powers as appropriate, and gather and act on information to target offenders. This is part of our ongoing work under Operation Sceptre, which complements the work our officers do every day to prevent and detect crime.

“We also work closely with partners such as British Transport Police, councils, and charities, and go into schools to speak to young people about the dangers of carrying knives and the lifestyle it can lead you into.

“Enforcement is only one part of fighting knife crime, as it’s a community issue that we must all work together to tackle. Our greatest source of information comes from members of the public.

“If you know someone is carrying a weapon, please report it to us.”

The five most dangerous parts of Essex for knife crime:

  1. Southend – rate of knife offences is 7.6 per 10,000 people.
  2. Colchester – rate of knife offences is 5.3 per 10,000 people
  3. Basildon – rate of knife offences is 5 per 10,000 people
  4. Thurrock – rate of knife offences is 4.9 per 10,000 people
  5. Epping Forest – rate of knife offences is 4.9 per 10,000 people.

The knife crime data shows that while there has been a decline in the number of offences in Essex in recent years, the number of people charged has consistently been below 25 per cent.

In 2016 there was a total of 991 recorded knife offences across Essex but just 237 people were charged while in 2018 there were 746 offences and just 118 charges.

The most prominent crimes committed are linked to assaults, followed by robberies. The number of murders remains low with just five recorded across the county in 2018. The highest number of murders took place in Basildon where two were reported.