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Police admit knife crime increasing in Wales.

SOUTH Wales Police has carried out nearly 10,000 "stop searches" on people suspected of carrying knives in under a year.

In the 11 months between April 2018 and February 2019, more than 9,500 searches were carried out.

Police said it was an "intelligenceled tactic" to tackle knife crime. It comes as knife crime in Wales has risen by 38% over the past year. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that, in the year ending September 2018, there were 1,309 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument recorded in Wales by police - a rise of 38% compared to September 2009, when 950 offences were recorded.

The 1,309 knife crimes include 864 offences of actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm, 237 robberies, 170 threats to kill, 16 rapes, nine sexual assaults, eight homicides and five attempts to murder. In the same period the number of convictions or cautions for knife crime has gone down.

In the year to September 2018 there were 838 convictions or cautions for possessing a knife or offensive weapon, or threatening another with a knife or offensive weapon - down 39% from the 1,371 convictions or cautions handed out a decade earlier.

South Wales Police accepts that knife crime has risen.

A spokesman said: "Knife crime remains rare for the vast majority of communities in south Wales, but this does not mean we are complacent... The threat of knife crime in some of our communities is very real, and this is where we are focusing our efforts to reduce harm.

"We have an intelligence-led approach to taking weapons off our streets and targeting those who might be carrying or using them."

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 12, 2019
Words:279
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