Knife crime in Cambridgeshire has risen by 33 per cent in the past year, new figures reveal.
There were 535 offences involving a knife in the county between the end of April 2017 and the beginning of March 2018, compared to 403 the previous year.
Earlier this month two teenagers were convicted of the stabbing of a 15-year-old boy in a Peterborough park.
Felix Marshall-Williams (16) and Mark Makundi (18) were found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent following a trial after the boy was left fighting for his life following the stabbing in Fulbridge Park on December 28 2017.
Marshall-Williams told the trial he carried a knife 'out of habit' for self defence.
The youths are yet to be sentenced.
Across the country, there was a 16 per cent rise in knife crime.
Addressing knife crime, a spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: " People carrying knives, particularly young people, often do so without understanding the real consequences of using them. The devastation that is caused to the victims who are seriously injured or fatally wounded, their families, the life outcomes for the person using the knife and the communities in which crime occurs.
“Being in possession of a knife in a public place without good reason is unlawful. If you’re found to be carrying a knife in a public place you’re likely to be arrested and convicted with heavy fines and a lifelong criminal record imposed by the court.”
The new figures, released today, also show an increase of 14 per cent in overall recorded crime, rising to 66,194 offences.
Nationally, the rise in crime was 13 per cent.
There were also big increases in a number of other offences - including a 14 per cent rise in sexual offences, an 18 per cent increase in violent crime, a 19 per cent rise in burglary, a 25 per cent rise in robbery and a 34 per cent rise in stalking.
The police spokesman said they had faced 'unprecedented demand in the past 12 months.
They said : “In April we launched a new policing model across Cambridgeshire. We have faced unprecedented demand, which has also been seen nationally, meaning officers and staff have had to juggle heavy workloads and manage competing priorities.
“The new model has been developed using our demand information to ensure we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and to be able to better manage the increasing demand on the police service.”