Recent figures released from the government show that there has been a decline in the number of homicides involving knives or other sharp instruments in the United Kingdom.
However recently a man was stabbed outside Walkabout, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. The man later died, and the incident has sparked fresh debate about whether knife crime in the Staffordshire area is on the increase.
In 2007-08 the number of homicides were 270; this has fallen to 252 in 2008-09. However, this statistic is somewhat misleading as there has been an increase in the number of attempted murders with a knife or sharp instrument. This has risen from 245 in 2007-08 to 271 in 2008-09.
There were 219 recorded offences involving knives in Staffordshire alone between April 2007 and March 2009. This involves the tragic case of Christopher Deakin, the 36 year old father who was stabbed to death.
At the time Chief Inspector Dave Mellor of Stoke-On-Trent police division said, “Although it will come as little comfort to Mr Deakin’s family, knife crime of any sort is extremely rare in Staffordshire.”
Further figures from the government say that 80% of all knife crime happens in only a few areas, mainly London, Leeds and Glasgow. This raises the question about whether knife crime statistics are misleading when compared to the Staffordshire area.
James Marshall, of 8 Queen Anne Street, Shelton, who is a victim of violent assault, believes there is not enough protection on the streets of Stoke-On-Trent. “There are rarely any police patrolling the area. I don’t like walking around the streets of Shelton, in particular Hanley Park… something needs to be done to make the area more secure.”
Mr Marshall also added his fears over knife crime saying, “I believe this area has a problem with knife crime. I just genuinely feel unsafe.”