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London murders are the symptom of a knife crime ‘epidemic’ that shows no sign of ending in the UK

Analysis: Amid calls for a police crackdown on violence, officers fear the causes of bloodshed lie far out of their hands, writes Lizzie Dearden

Tuesday 06 November 2018 18:26 GMT
Rising numbers of 'frightened' children are carrying knives in the belief it will protect them from their peers
Rising numbers of 'frightened' children are carrying knives in the belief it will protect them from their peers (PA)

The murders of five people, stabbed to death across London in the past week, have increased calls to tackle an “epidemic” of violence sweeping the UK.

But police who are battling record levels of knife crime in England and Wales fear the bloodshed is being driven by wider societal shifts that are far beyond their powers to control.

Ministers’ vocal support for police and new strategies for tackling violence have not yet been backed up by funding to reverse budget cuts which have resulted in the loss of more than 20,000 officers since 2010.

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