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Knives

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents of stabbings with knives have occurred in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. (76627)

The following table provides PSNI statistics on knife crime incidents over the past five years. The incidents are sorted by the recorded crime categories used by the police. While it is known that a knife was used in all incidents recorded below, it is not possible to indicate how the knife was used.

Clearly the categories of murder and attempted murder refer to the most serious incidents. While the overall incidents of use of a knife in crime rose last year, the number of murders and attempted murders reduced.

A knife amnesty and media campaign is currently in place. In early autumn an educational package will be introduced into schools and legislation giving powers to increase the minimum age for buying a knife will be introduced. I am hopeful that these actions will impact on these figures and we will see a reduction in knife related crimes this year.

Crime type

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Class 1: Offences against the person

350

369

368

394

430

Murder

12

12

2

10

8

Attempted murder

15

20

22

32

27

Assaults

283

275

292

214

320

Class 2: Sexual offences

8

4

7

4

13

Class 3: Burglary

25

30

39

26

19

Class 4: Robbery

365

431

324

265

359

Class 5: Theft

33

12

21

19

22

Class 6: Fraud and forgery

0

0

0

0

0

Class 7: Criminal damage

148

67

129

161

121

Class 8: Offences against the state

85

71

90

131

165

Possessing offensive weapon

85

71

90

131

165

Class 9: Other notifiable offences

2

2

7

0

1

Total crime

1,016

986

985

1,000

1,130