Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

OUR KNIFE CRIMES; Call for Stop and Search as Figures Revealed

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

OUR KNIFE CRIMES; Call for Stop and Search as Figures Revealed

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON WALTON

KNIVES and other sharp weapons were used in more than 400 crimes on Teesside in the last two years - including rape and attempted murder.

Figures released by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Cleveland Police have revealed the extent to which bladed weapons were used in a string of attacks.

The year on year statistics show an increase in offences in which knives or sharp weapons were used, however, due to changes in counting rules the figures are not comparable.

In the financial year April 2007 to April 2008, Cleveland Police recorded 169 offences in which bladed or sharp weapons were used.

These included four attempted murders, 76 offences of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH), 17 offences of wounding and 72 robberies.

In the nine month period from April 2008 to January this year, there were 233 crimes recorded by Cleveland Police involving knives or similar bladed objects - that's about 25 such crimes each month These included three attempted murders, four threats to kill, 54 wounding offences or acts which endangered life, nine offences of causing GBH with intent and 120 offences of actual bodily harm or other injury. There were also 40 robberies, two rapes and one sexual assault.

The figures included offences involving objects used to either

As well as knives, they potentially include the use of items such as an axe, bayonet, bow and arrow, crossbow, glass, machete, razor, scalpel and syringe needle.

The figures could also include weapons such as bricks, baseball bats and golf clubs, if the skin is pierced or there is a threat to do so.

Knife crime has continued since the figures were collated, with a string of additional cases on Teesside since January.

Councillor Joan McTigue, an independent member for Middlesbrough's Beechwood ward, made the FOI request to Cleveland Police and branded the figures "very worrying".

She said: "Any knife crime figures are too high.

"When you look at these figures for knife crime it does not fill me with confidence.

Cllr McTigue said knives in the home were not a problem, but added: "If they are carrying them on the person they have to be removed. …

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