Gun-related crime in England may be on the wane, but criminals are making up for the shortfall with deadly machete attacks, which occur every 90 minutes, according to newly available data.
Police are how contending with rising numbers of machete-based murders, rapes, robberies, and burglaries.
A Mail Online report published on Thursday details how criminals are “using machetes more and more to instill terror in their victims.” New police data shows that in the last two months of 2017, police handled 928 crimes involving machetes—an average of 15 attacks a day.
In just those two months, London saw 425 machete-based attacks. As the Mail Online reports, the statistics show a dramatic rise from 2014, when machetes were only involved in 100 crimes a month.
The weapon came to prominence after British soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death in broad daylight in May 2013.
Statistics from the UK’s Office of National Statistics reveal that during a 12-month period to September 2017, police recorded 37,443 attacks involving a knife or sharp instrument. The figure represents a 21 percent increase on the previous year—the highest ever record since the police started compiling records seven years ago.
The statistics were released through freedom of information requests following the launch of Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s “Serious Violence Strategy” initiative, which is intended to tackle knife crime in the UK.
Mail Online cites multiple recent cases in London and the surrounding areas. In February, 20-year-old Sadiq Aadam was hacked to death by rival gang members armed with machetes. Just days prior, a father-of-two David Pugh suffered grievous injuries while defending his home from a gang of robbers who were beating his teenage son in West Midlands. In March, a Manchester man was left with life-threatening injuries when a man attacked him and his friends at a pub.
56 people have died in London to knife crime so far this year.
Curiously, machetes are not on the list of banned weapons, which includes ninja throwing stars, sword-sticks, and samurai swords. Telescopic batons, which are typically used for self-defense, are also banned.