Figures show violent crime is increasing outside London after spate of Bank Holiday attacks

Violent crime increasing in rural areas after spate of Bank Holiday attacks

Monday, May 7, 2018

The crime epidemic in the UK is spreading outside of London and into the Home Counties, statistics show.

The Sunday Times analysed Home Office crime figures and found that knife crime in a number of counties including Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Essex had nearly doubled in the past three years. 

Norfolk, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Hertfordshire, Warwickshire and Wales' knife crime figures have increased 100% from 2014 to 2017, while Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Essex, Dorset, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire's had increased up to 99%.

Over the weekend, a 43-year-old man was stabbed in Ealing on Sunday evening, and is in hospital recovering from his injuries.

A 20-year-old man was stabbed to death in Luton in daylight on Sunday afternoon, and elsewhere, two boys aged 13 and 15 were shot in Harrow later on Sunday night in different locations within the borough.

Police are investigating whether the incidents are linked, and the boys are currently in hospital with head injuries.

A 22-year-old man was also shot in Lewisham early Sunday evening, and sustained injuries that are not thought to be life threatening. 

Another 20-year-old man died in Liverpool after being stabbed, and a 17-year-old boy, Rhyhiem Ainsworth Barton, was shot in Kennington on Saturday.

His mother Pretana Morgan called for an end to the violence.

"Let my son be the last and be an example to everyone. Just let it stop. What must be, must be," she said.

"It's not about race, it's not about nation, it's not about culture. Nothing. It's just a human race.

"Just one human race. So children, please let my son be the last."

Rhyhiem was a rapper and aspiring architect, and had been learning to work with children. 

No arrests have been made yet.

Former police officer Norman Brennan told Julia Hartley-Brewer recently that there were 21,500 fewer police officers after cuts and that forces were struggling to cope.

He called for more stop-and-search powers for police officers but said they were reluctant to use them after "prolific" incidences of racist officers abusing their powers "20, 30 years ago".

Vince O'Brien, head of drugs operation at the National Crime Agency, told the Daily Mail that the increase in violence was down to "city gangs establishing themselves in new drugs markets in rural areas".

Listen to Norman Brennan's latest interview with Julia above.