Croydon knife crime rate up 25 per cent from last year

New statistics for knife and sharp object offences showed a big rise in Croydon. Pic: Alexander Entwistle

Knife crime in Croydon is up 25 per cent from last year, new figures show.

The data, released by the House of Commons Library on October 13, shows the number of knife crime incidents and rate per 100,000 for each borough across London.

The data covers the period from March 2022 to March 2023 and when compared to the same period the previous year, there was a rise across all four of the ELL boroughs.

Among the boroughs, both Lewisham and Croydon saw a significant rise in knife crime, with Tower Hamlets and Hackney showing smaller increases.

In 2022/23, the number of knife or sharp instrument offences in Croydon was 681, a 25 per cent increase from the previous year, making it the highest proportional increase across the ELL boroughs.

The rate of knife incidents per 100,000 head of population in the borough increased by 39, with the rate at 174 for 2022/23.

Lewisham recorded 377 incidents in the year ending March 2022. By the following year, this has risen by 22 per cent, to 460 knife crime incidents.

Lewisham Council is taking a 'public health' approach to the problem, working closely with police, schools and non-profit organisations.

It has employed a Violence Reduction Plan which highlights tactics to confront the root causes of issues including youth violence and knife crime. The plan pays attention to child exploitation, reducing exclusions, reduce disproportionality, community engagement and empowering communities.

Lewisham Council told ELL: "Community engagement is critical to how we as a Council, and a Partnership, approach this issue of serious violence, so we are currently undertaking a public consultation to gather the views and perceptions of serious violence in the borough.

"The responses will help the Safer Lewisham Partnership deepen its understanding of the kinds of serious violence that happens in Lewisham and to try to find out what causes it. This will help the responsible authorities be able to focus on preventing crime and intervening early to reduce the chances of someone committing or becoming a victim of crime."

Croydon Council released its updated 'Youth Safety Plan' for 2023 to 2026 in September.

Croydon Council's vision for the Youth Safety Plan states: "Children, young people and young adults have the chance to thrive, learn and fulfil their potential."

The Borough of Hackney ranked seventh highest for the rate of knife crime across the London boroughs, with the number of knife incidents in Hackney jumping from 502 in the year ending March 2022, to 542 incidents the following year.

Figures for Tower Hamlets presented only a minor increase in the number of incidents and rate of knife crimes, showing only a four per cent rise, with the rate at 176 for 2022/23.

The Met Police said: "Knife crime and any violent crime has a devastating impact on individuals, their families, and the wider community. Tackling knife crime and violent crime remains the central focus for the Met and we know that coming together with the community and other agencies will build long lasting solutions for the future."

The data showed that knife or sharp instrument offences across London had risen considerably from 2020/21 to 2022/23. The number of offences involving a knife or sharp instrument reached 13,325 by 2022/23, a 16.8 per cent increase from the previous year.

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