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  • Writer's pictureBrad Parker

UK Knife Murders at All Time High

The number of knife slayings in the United Kingdom reached its greatest level since records first began to be kept in 1946.


Photo of Big Ben in London
Knife homicides are at an all-time high in portions of the UK.

The number of homicides "committed using a knife or sharp instrument" in the two Home Nations was 282, according to the Office for Nation Statistics (ONS) figures, up nearly a fifth (19%) from the previous year and the highest annual total since the Home Office started keeping a Homicide Index in 1946. Scotland and Northern Ireland are excluded because they have their own information-gathering bodies.


The previous high, 281 cases, was achieved very recently, in the year ending in March 2018, when there were no coronavirus lockdowns or travel and gathering bans, unlike for a significant portion of the year ending in March 2022.


Chart from UK Office for National Statistics on homicides for 2022
This chart breaks out the homicides in the UK by cause and by victim.

Young men between the ages of 16 and 24 made up the majority of fatal knife violence victims, accounting for 122 deaths, although deaths among people between the ages of 45 and 54 were not far behind at 119, following a 53% increase from the previous year.


Even while the overall number of deaths was lower at 77, the number of victims in the 55 to 64 age group increased by an even sharper 54%, and victims in the 65 and older age group also increased dramatically to their highest level in at least ten years.


Men were much more likely than women to be both perpetrators and victims, making up 91% of suspects in cases where someone was accused with killing a man and 95% of suspects in cases where someone was charged with killing a woman. Men also made up 72% of all fatalities.


One thing that you should note in the chart above is that the second leading cause of homicide does not involve a weapon. These are the cases when someone is literally beat to death with fists and feet. Even though empty hand techniques are most often shown fairly low on the level of force continuum, these attacks can turn deadly -- particularly when multiple adversaries are involved and when the attack continues for a length of time.


Train now for these attacks.


When it comes time to perform, there is no more time to prepare.

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