A surge in violence fuelled by gun and knife attacks has led to a significant rise in recorded crime, official statistics revealed yesterday.
More than 4.3million offences were reported, a rise of 6 per cent and the biggest annual increase for nearly 15 years.
Murder and manslaughter shot up 14 per cent to their highest total in five years – up 71 to 574 in the year to last September.
Criminologists suggest the rising murder rate could be due to a ‘cocktail’ of factors, such as immigration, gang culture and police focusing on other investigations like phone hacking.
David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, said: ‘Because detective have been put on other tasks, such as investigating child sexual abuse, there are fewer people to sift local intelligence with the hope of stopping violence.’