Knife crime up for sixth year in a row in county

KNIFE crime is up for the sixth year in a row, new figures show.

In the year to March 2019, more than 285 crimes committed in the county involved knives – up four per cent on the previous year.

They included two sexual assaults, two attempted murders, 187 assaults and 77 knifepoint robberies.

The number of possession of weapons offences were up 25 per cent, while statisticians noted a 42 per cent rise in stalking and harassment incidents and a seven per cent hike in robberies. Total recorded crime reduced slightly, with 43,246 offences logged.

Supt Sarah Robbins of Wiltshire Police said the increase in stalking reports was a result of changes in how the crime was recorded jump: “Our officers are receiving on-going and in-depth training helping them to understand and deal with these cases and the often innocent people who find themselves on the receiving end of what can be a very frightening experience.

“With robberies, it is always concerning to see a rise in an offence which can increase the fear of crime in communities.

“However, we need to put some context around this, as a small force with a large rural footprint, robbery offences are generally low which means that when there is a small increase in numbers of recorded crimes, as we have seen here, the percentage increase can appear high – it looks far more alarming than it is and let’s not forget it is still lower than the national average.”

The figures, released by the Home Office, came as a Railway Village man was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent after stabbing his friend in the torso using a samurai sword.

Terence Ryan’s victim crawled towards the Glue Pot pub and was found by officers bleeding heavily from his torso, with blood on his face and shoes. Ryan, 40, was found soon after at a house on Exeter Street. He will be sentenced at Swindon Crown Court next month.

Yesterday, those living on Exeter Street said education was key to tackling rising knife crime.

Hayley Pinner, 36, said: “I think knife crime is bad everywhere you go now, especially London. Education has to be the solution. That’s the only thing.”

Graham Pritchard, 59, said: “Fortunately, I have never experienced it myself, but there’s a general decline in civilisation. It’s obvious there’s so much lack of respect. There’s an appalling amount of drunkenness in the town centre.

“I think people feel so separate and isolated.”

This is Wiltshire

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