A new report from education monitoring body Ofsted has warned that mistakes are being made when identifying school children as risks for committing knife crime. One of the main concerns in the new report is an inconsistency: whether across schools or even in the same institution, there is too much variation when it comes to targeting those at risk of committing offences.

The report explains that the problem is a lack of focused guidance from government. In the absence of concrete advice, schools often rely on their own judgement to identify risks.

This means that the specific institution a child attends, or their individual performance within a school, can affect their likelihood of being classified a danger.

Schools 'having to act alone'

Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman stresses that this is not the fault of schools, but rather a lack of integrated approaches across the government, police, and education sectors: “Some school leaders feel that they are having to act alone to develop a response to rising rates of knife Crime. We know that the best response is a multi-agency approach and good, timely information-sharing, but too often this is not happening.”

Last week, Chancellor Philip Hammond was criticised for calling on more police funds to be diverted away from lower priority offences towards knife crime.

John Apter, National Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, stated his outrage at the suggestion police are not already focused on the issue: “Children are dying on our streets and he has the audacity to suggest that the police need to prioritise. Let me assure him – this is a priority.” The Chancellor went on to announce today that an extra £100m would be "ringfenced" for knife crime.

Latest statistics show that knife-related murders stood at 285 in 2017-2018, the highest rate since 1946.

London experiences not only the highest number of knife crimes in England and Wales but also the highest proportion when the population is taken into account. In the year ending March 2018, there were 168 knife offences per 100,000 people in the capital. Last year, Boris Johnson criticised current London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the rise. A spokeswoman for Khan described Johnson's comments as "desperate nonsense".

On 12 March, three people were stabbed at a Roddy Ricch concert at Electric Brixton. The venue was evacuated and the three men, all in their 20s, were hospitalised but later discharged. Meanwhile, a 15-year-old has been charged with the fatal stabbing of Ayub Hassan, 17. He was attacked close to West Kensington tube station and died later in hospital.