Sharp rise in knife possession among South Yorkshire women
Knife possession offences committed by women in South Yorkshire have risen by more than 80 per cent in the last five years, shock figures have revealed.
Data obtained by the BBC using the Freedom of Information Act showed there was an 82 per cent rise in offences across Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley.
In total, there were 248 knife possession offences involving women in the area between 2014 and 2018.
Nationally, knife possession offences committed by women and girls in England have risen by at least 10 per cent every year since 2014.
There were 1,509 offences recorded in 2018, which represented an increase of 73 per cent over five years.
The Home Office said it was investing £220m into steering both young men and young women away from violent crime.
A spokesman said: "We recently announced plans to recruit 20,000 more police officers and empower them to use fair and intelligence-led stop and search, to prevent more young people falling victim to knife crime."
Earlier this year South Yorkshire Police was one of seven forces to receive extra Home Office funding to tackle violent crime.
The force's assistant chief constable, Tim Forber, told the BBC that while knife crime is still predominately a male problem, it is increasingly about "vulnerability" rather than gender.
"It's a very small proportion [of women] but it's a worrying proportion - we don't want to see any young people, any women carrying knives in society.
"I don't think it's any more nuanced, than it is for men, it's about vulnerable young people getting drawn into the fringes of organised crime."