Priti Patel yesterday conceded the latest rise in knife crime was 'appalling'
Priti Patel yesterday conceded the latest rise in knife crime was 'appalling' - as she vowed a tough new approach.
In a frank admission, the Home Secretary said that an overall fall in recorded crime could not mask the misery caused by a sharp rise in knife offences, which are at a record high.
Official figures released last month showed that knife crimes in England and Wales rose by 7 per cent last year to 45,627.
The figure represents a 49 per cent rise on 2011, when comparable records began.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Miss Patel said the figures were 'terrible' but vowed a tough new approach which would mean thugs caught with a knife 'going down'.
The Home Secretary hailed the encouraging statistics which show a 5 per cent fall in recorded crime last year.
But she admitted that the figure obscured the devastating impact of knife crime, county lines drugs operations and other serious crime.
'The figures are appalling,' she said. 'There is something so corrosive around knife crime that we absolutely have to break.
The Home Secretary said that an overall fall in recorded crime could not mask the misery caused by a sharp rise in knife offences, which are at a record high (pictured, police attend the scene of a stabbing in Ilford, east London, April 26, 2020)
'There are things that we are doing. More officers - 100 per cent that is going to make a difference.'
She also said measures are being put in place such as knife crime prevention orders.
She added: 'If you are caught with a knife, quite frankly, you will be going down and that is the right thing.'
Miss Patel also said that 'police leaders', such as mayors and police and crime commissioners, are still not doing enough to prioritise tackling knife crime.
She singled out London Mayor Sadiq Khan as someone who 'should be doing more' following a wave of stabbings last year in the capital, which now accounts for about a third of total knife offences.