Knife and gun crime on the rise across N. Wales

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

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

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