Knife and gun crime on the rise across N. Wales
GUN and knife crime has risen dramatically across North Wales over the last five years, figures have revealed.
The number of incidents involving blades is up from 647 in 2014, to 812 between January and November this year. Annual firearm incidents have almost doubled from 66 in 2014, to 119 so far this year.
The figures revealed under a Freedom of Information request showed 11 peo- ple have been killed since the start of 2014, 10 by blades – seven alone in 2017 – and one by a firearm this year. Knife assaults with injury or attempt to cause serious harm made up 943 incidents, with 10 more involving constables injured over the last two years.
Worryingly the numbers found in possession of a knife or blade rose from 55 in 2014 to 167 in 2017. The most knife crimes occurred in Wrexham – 879 over the period, followed by Rhyl 373, Bangor 196 and Colwyn Bay 142. Wrexham accounted for the most firearm crimes with 99, followed by Rhyl 38, Colwyn Bay 21 and Llandudno 20.
Supt Mark Armstrong of North Wales Police, NWP said: “We have seen a small increase in reported incidents involving knives and guns this year.
“These rises are statistically small, however NWP understands the seriousness of [such]offences.
“North Wales has seen a small increase in the number reported to be carrying knives as a result of County Lines activity and the data shows that both gun and knife crime is focused in our larger towns and cities.
“By ensuring proportionate use of Stop and Search, NWP are actively seeking to reduce offences involving weapons. The recent Operation Sceptre which encouraged the public to surrender knives was very successful, with over 800 handed in.
“More than 1,000 pupils were engaged by school liaison officers to discuss the harm knife crime can cause and penalties for being caught in possession of a weapon. This operation will be repeated in 2019.”
Weapons handed in to North Wales Police during amnesties