Police and crime figures in numbers

London is looking for answers after a spate of violent crime across the capital has left more than 50 people dead since the start of the year.

The Government's new Offensive Weapons Bill seeks to tackle the problem by calling on social media companies to do more to rid the web of violent gang content, making it a criminal offence to possess corrosive substances in public, and setting out tough restrictions on online sales of knives.

But a leaked Home Office document said cuts to police numbers have "likely contributed" to the rise in serious violent crime.

Here, the Press Association looks at the numbers behind policing and crime in the UK.

121,929 - The number of police officers in England and Wales as of September 30 last year, the lowest number since comparable records began more than two decades ago in 1996.

4.1% - The amount of police officers in the West Midlands fell by 4.1% between September 2016 and 2017. This is the force that saw the greatest fall.

43 - The number of police forces in England and Wales.

35 - The number of fatal stabbings that have occurred in London in 2018.

POLITICS Violence
(PA Graphics/PA)

55 - Scotland Yard said it is currently investigating 55 suspected murders since the start of 2018, including the deaths of two children whose bodies were found in Sussex.

22 - The number of murder investigations launched by the Metropolitan Police in March this year, an all-time monthly high. Data shows two previous peaks in the past eight years - April 2010 when there were 16 murders, and June 2017 when there were 19.

6 - The number of suspected murders since the start of 2018 Scotland Yard is investigating in Hackney, more than in any other borough.

20,982 - The number of offences of possession of a knife or offensive weapon which led to a conviction or caution in England or Wales in 2017, the highest total for a calendar year since 2010.

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