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Knife crime across England and Wales rose to record levels last year, figures show.

Police recorded 40,829 offences involving knives or sharp instruments in 2018, up 6% on the year before.

Office for National Statistics data shows cases of murder and manslaughter, excluding terror attacks, increased by 12%. There were 732 killings, up from 655 in 2017 – the highest since 2008.

However, overall levels of crime showed no significant change over the period.

The knife crime statistics show offences are continuing to rise and are at their highest level since 2011 – although the rate of increase appears to be slowing.

Offences rose 9% in the 12 months to September 2018 and 13% in the 12 months to June 2018.

The knife crime statistics do not include Greater Manchester Police because of differences in the way the force has been recording offences.

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