Knife crime offenders are escaping justice in areas of Britain with some of the highest murder rates, new figures show.
The numbers of people caught carrying a bladed weapon and who are then charged with possession has fallen in nearly every constabulary over the last four years.
However, many of those forces in England and Wales that have seen the sharpest decline in charge rates have also suffered some of the highest murder statistics linked to stabbings.
The analysis of Home Office data will add to claims that police are struggling to cope with the rise in violent street crime.
It will also renew calls for officers to be given emergency stop and search powers to help stem the knife crime epidemic….