Incidents of women using or possessing knives in Swindon look set to pass last year's total.

So far in 2019, there have already been 23 incidents, compared with 30 across the 12 months of 2018.

Female knife crime has been on the rise in the town since 2014 when there was 18 incidents.

Both 2015 and 2017 had 29 reported cases with 2016 and 2018 having 30.

A Freedom of Information request, revealed there were 36 incidents, in the past 11 months, involving women and bladed articles such as a knife or screwdriver.

Wiltshire Police says of the 36, 22 were domestic incidents such as using a weapon on or threatened a partner with a knife.

Of the other 14 incidents, 11 involved criminal damage such as using a screwdriver to scratch a car, two were being caught in possession of a knife and one was being caught in possession of a knife while shoplifting.

Sonja Leith, Wiltshire Police’s head of crime prevention, said: “We have to put these statistics in to context. The majority of these cases involved domestic incidents where the victim was known to the perpetrator, these were not random incidents.

“We work tirelessly to make people aware of the dangers of carrying knives through our proactive campaigns. Our Youth Offending Teams delivers interventions to young women which can cover the risk attached to the use of knives.

“We continue to concentrate on a multi-agency approach, which involves educating young people about the dangers of carrying a weapon, understanding why some feel the need to carry a knife, right through to arresting and convicting offenders if they are caught either carrying or using a weapon.”

Figures released last week, revealed that across the UK the number of women caught carrying knives had risen sharply. In 2018, 1,509 offences were recorded – up 73 per cent in five years.