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Sir Bob Russell

Member of Parliament for Colchester since 1997


Knife killings out-number gun murders 3 - 1

December 30, 2006 12:29 PM

The number of people murdered in knife attacks is more than three times greater than those killed by guns.

In the past nine years a total of 2,026 people have been murdered in England and Wales as a result of being stabbed while the number killed by guns is 601.

The shock figures have been obtained by Colchester MP Bob Russell, a Liberal Democrat member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, as a result of a Parliamentary Question to Home Secretary Dr John Reid.

Mr Russell is now urging colleagues on the Select Committee to hold an inquiry into the comparison between the number of people murdered in knife and gun attacks.

Penalties for carrying and using knives are currently less than for those who carry and use guns. Mr Russell believes that knife crime should be treated on equal terms with gun crime.

He said: "The figures speak for themselves. Criminals are using knives more often than guns, and the number of people murdered is three times greater then those killed by guns.

"I believe that the legal system should regard knives and guns in exactly the same way. Both are weapons which kill, and knives are used to murder more people than guns are."

Figures for the past 12 months have yet to be published, but for the last year for which they are available show that 236 people were murdered as a result of being stabbed and 77 were killed by guns. The figures for 1997 were 200 and 58 respectively.

The 3 to 1 ratio of knife murders over gun deaths has remained constant during the last two decades, but with both showing a steady increase.