Knife crime down across South Yorkshire according to figures despite nine fatal stabbings last year

Knife crime has fallen by over 10 per cent in South Yorkshire according to the latest police recorded crime statistics, despite there being nine fatal stabbings within a 12-month period. 

Official figures released by the Office for National Statistics show there were 960 knife related offences committed across the region between October 2017 and September 2018, a decrease of 12 per cent on the previous year with 1,089.

Knives seized by police last year as part of Operation Sceptre

Knives seized by police last year as part of Operation Sceptre

However despite the fall, figures also show that last year alone nine people were stabbed to death, with the majority occurring against young men.

In August, four men were charged over the murder of Jarvin Blake, a 22-year-old dad-of-three, who was stabbed on Catherine Street, at the junction with Brackley Street, Burngreave on March 8.

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Kavan Brissett, 21, was knifed in the chest in an alleyway off Langsett Walk, near Upperthorpe, on August 14 and died four days later in hospital.

A forensics test at Sheffield's Valley Centertainment complex, where Fahim Hersi was stabbed to death

A forensics test at Sheffield's Valley Centertainment complex, where Fahim Hersi was stabbed to death

And, 22-year-old Fahim Hersi, was stabbed when two groups clashed at the Valley Centertainment complex on September 21.

The Star launched an anti-knife campaign in August, in a bid to make the city’s streets safer and handed out 1,500 copies of the paper, which featured an eight-page special report on knife crime, to secondary school pupils across the city to persuade them to drop the knife.

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Police said they have also been working hard with partners, such as schools, local authorities and voluntary bodies, to understand why young males in particular are carrying knives and ways they can reduce this.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “It is especially pleasing to see that knife crime was down in South Yorkshire by 12%.

“South Yorkshire Police have been working very hard with partners to understand why young males in particular have been carrying knives and to find ways of reducing this.

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“We have all been working very hard with partners – the schools, the local authorities and the voluntary bodies – to help young people understand the dangers of carrying blades.

“There has been a more sophisticated approach – helping young people to get away from involvement with drugs and gangs, but also targeting known offenders and increasing stop and search. This is putting into action what a previous Labour Prime Minister called ‘Tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’.

Robbery, theft, criminal damage and arson were also down compared to the previous year.

However, overall crime rose by one per cent across South Yorkshire with categories such as stalking and harassment showing a 47 per cent increase and violence against a person increasing by 17 per cent.

Dr Billings said the increase in numbers may be due to better recording and reporting, but that police would need to work hard to understand why there are increases and what can be done to reduce them.

“Overall this shows a police force that is beginning to get on top of some of the issues that blight our communities, despite years of austerity and cuts to police numbers,” he added.