Close Menu
Back To Blog

Knife Crime in the UK

Written by: Ethan Blin

Knife crime remains a critical concern across the UK, impacting community safety and challenging security measures in various sectors. This article examines the latest knife crime statistics, evaluates the impact on retail security, and emphasises the role of advanced protective gear, including PPSS Group’s stab vests and SlashPRO® Slash Resistant Clothing, in mitigating these risks.

Overview of Knife Crime in the UK

Knife-related offences continue to rise, with police in England and Wales recording 48,716 incidents in the year ending September 2023, marking a 5% increase from the previous year. This upward trend is not uniformly distributed across the country, with certain regions experiencing more significant increases.

Which cities have higher rates of knife crime?

London and the West Midlands, especially areas like Birmingham, are seeing substantial increases. London experienced a 22% surge, resulting in 13,957 incidents, while the West Midlands saw a 5% rise, amounting to 5,239 incidents. Other regions such as Cleveland and South Yorkshire also reported comparatively high rates, highlighting that this is a broad national issue.

Is UK knife crime on the rise?

Yes, knife crime in the UK is increasing. The consistent rise across various regions highlights the need for effective strategies to address this growing threat.

The Impact of Knife Crime on Retail Security

The retail sector faces unique challenges regarding knife crime. Violent incidents within retail settings not only jeopardise employee and customer safety but also impose significant operational costs.

Challenges Faced by Retail Sector

Do stab vests work?

Stab vests are essential for providing protection against knife attacks. They are designed to stop the penetration of blades and sharp instruments, significantly reducing the risk of serious injuries. PPSS Group’s stab vests are manufactured to meet the safety needs of frontline security personnel, offering both certified protection and increased confidence for those wearing them.

Expanding the Scope: Knife Crime in Hospitals and Counties

Knife crime has also seen a worrying rise in other public spaces, notably in hospitals. Healthcare professionals are increasingly at risk, with several instances of violence involving knives reported annually. This highlights the need for protective measures not just in retail, but across all public sector environments where staff could be vulnerable.

Statistical Review of Knife Crime Across Counties

Knife crime remains a significant threat across various settings, including healthcare facilities. In London alone, there were 930 hospital admissions due to blade injuries in a single year, up by 110 cases from the previous year, which marks a 13% increase in such injuries​ (Evening Standard)​. This data reflects not just the broad scope of the issue but also the intense impact on urban centers.

Certain regions like Greater Manchester and areas around major cities in the UK have shown higher frequencies of knife crime. This geographical spread highlights how pervasive the issue is, affecting both urban and rural settings.

The Threats of Needles and Spike

In addition to the threat of knives, healthcare professionals and front-line security also face risks from needles and other sharp objects, which can be used in assaults. This type of threat necessitates specific types of certified stab vests designed to prevent puncture wounds, which are common in medical and high-risk public environments. Our carbon fibre body armour is certified to SP1, which prevents needle and spike penetration.

The rising instances of knife-related violence in places like hospitals underline the crucial need for comprehensive security measures that include the deployment of protective gear like PPSS stab vests. These vests are vital not only for preventing injuries from knives but also for protecting against other sharp implements used in assaults.

Given the complexity and the severity of the threat posed by knife crime, it’s evident that more robust measures are required to protect those at the frontline, especially in sectors directly impacted by public interactions. Addressing this through a combination of better protective gear, enhanced security protocols, and broader preventive strategies will be crucial for safeguarding public and professional safety.

The Role of PPSS Group Stab Vests in Retail Security

To combat the risks associated with knife attacks, many retailers have turned to PPSS Group’s stab vests, which are certified to provide protection against knives, spikes, and blunt force trauma. In addition to stab vests, the adoption of SlashPRO® Slash Resistant Clothing offers an extra layer of protection, safeguarding against cuts and slashes delivered by edged weapons.

Benefits of Stab Vests in Retail Security


Currently, PPSS Group supplies stab vests to seven of the UK’s largest shopping centres, emphasising their importance in retail security strategies.

Trafford Centre Security in PPSS Stab Vests


The rise in knife crime across the UK demonstrates the need for effective protective wear in both retail security plans and broader public sector safety strategies. Integrating advanced protective gear such as PPSS Group’s stab vests and SlashPRO® Slash Resistant Clothing is essential for tackling this complex issue and ensuring the safety of all citizens and workers in various sectors.

If you wish to find out more about how our stab vests can help your security teams and enhance safety measures in your organisation, please click the button below:



About the Author

Ethan Blin is the Marketing Manager at PPSS Group. His mission ensures that security and high-risk industry professionals receive comprehensive information about the exceptional protection our carbon fibre stab vests, cut resistant clothing, and slash resistant clothing provide Through this knowledge, he hopes to empower individuals to make informed decisions to safeguard both their teams and themselves effectively.

Related Blog Posts

Created with Sketch. 8 January 2023

The Danger of Knife Slashing – Human Anatomy

Created with Sketch. 8 November 2021

Stab Vests for Healthcare and Hospital Security

Created with Sketch. 16 May 2020

Slash Resistant Gloves by SlashPRO | Truly Exceptional Levels of Cut Protection

Created with Sketch. 21 June 2022

ISO 20471:2013 Certified High Visibility Stab Vests