Violent knife attacks are on the rise in the U.K., and many of the incidents this year have taken place in London.
Knife crime in Britain has increased by 16 percent, and overall murders have increased by 12 percent, which is the highest increase in a decade, the Sun reported this week.
There have been 40,147 knife-related offenses recorded by police so far in 2018, which is a seven-year high, The Sun pointed out: 51 people were fatally stabbed in London since the beginning of the year, and police have reported 1,299 stabbings in the city up to the end of April.
Analysts believe that the recent glut of cocaine that has entered the country is one of the reasons why there have been so many knife-related crimes.
A man died Aug. 5 after being stabbed in Cambridge Gardens, Metropolitan Police said, according to a report by GoWestLondon.
Police officers and paramedics attempted to save the victim, who passed away at the scene. Authorities are currently conducting an investigation but haven’t made any arrests.
“A murder investigation has been launched in Kingston-Upon-Thames after a man was fatally stabbed in the early hours of Sunday, August 5. Police were called to Cambridge Gardens by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) at 2:16 AM following reports of a stabbing. Officers attended and found a man in his twenties suffering from stab wounds. Despite the efforts of police who gave initial CPR and attending paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:02 AM,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
— London Assembly (@LondonAssembly) August 8, 2018
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is aware of the growing knife crime issue and is currently working with law enforcement to find a solution, CBC News recently reported.
“Together, we must ensure standards are maintained in every borough as part of our collective approach to tackling violence. because the government continues to leave us high and dry, by cutting public services and refusing to invest properly in our police service,” Khan said.
A new violent crime task force has been created in London that will assign 150 officers to exclusively focus on violent crime. The task force will be mostly focusing on the areas where the highest frequency of knife crimes are known to occur.
There have already been some positive results from the task force, as it carried out a massive sweep in June that resulted in the seizing of six firearms and 135 illegal knives, CBC reported.
Steve O’Connell, the Chairman of the Police and Crime Committee for the London Assembly, insists that London is a safe city despite the surge in knife crimes.
“London remains a safe city, and the numbers are relatively low compared to other cities,” O’Connell said.