Knife crime, gun crime and rape is on the rise in London, despite a police claim that overall crime levels are at their lowest "in decades".

Figures reveal that there were 46 more knife crime offences, 77 more knife injuries and three more gun crimes in April to March 2015/16 compared with April to March 2014/15.

Violence crime in the capital is up by 5.4% with more than 3,700 offences in the last financial year, according to the latest Metropolitan Police Service statistics, released on Friday (April 15).

There were a total of 109 homicides in 2015/16 – six more than the previous year – but the number is still lower than a spike in 2003-2004 when there were 211 cases.

The total number of all recorded sexual offences increased by 9.3% on last year, with rape offences up by 8.85 and other serious sexual offences up by 9.5%

The number of recorded sexual offences has been increasing gradually since 2009/10, but saw a significant rise after October 2012, coinciding with publicity around Jimmy Savile.

The positive effect of Operation Yewtree has also been a major factor in increased confidence of victims to come forward.

Domestic abuse rose by 10.6% and racist and religious hate crime increased by 17.9%.

'Improvements in crime recording'

The Met believes these increases are down factors such as improvements in crime recording, willingness of victims to report hate crime, world events, improved awareness of Met staff to identify these offences and support provided by more than 900 specialist hate crime investigators and our work with partners to support victims.

Police give the reason for the increase in violence against the person as more accurate recording of individual offences.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recognises this is due to improvements in crime recording, rather than levels of crime, following a Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) inspection found there were significant issues with the quality of crime recording in police forces across England and Wales.

The Met say they are committed to tackling violent crime, including knife and gun crime through a range of proactive activities, with 30 arrests made and 14 firearms were seized this week under Operation Kestrel, a pro-active crackdown on gun crime and gun criminals.

Police released a fascinating video showing exactly what happens to deadly seized weapons.

Police work with partners, charities, parents and schools to address this issue.

Since summer 2015, Trident and local police gang crime units have successfully engaged in Operation Teal, proactively targeting gang and knife crime.

Knife crime is on the rise, but police say this is down to 'better reporting'

Nearly 13,000 arrests have been made, 2,500 knives taken off the street and an increase in both the volume and variety of firearms recovered.

Overall crime - total notifiable offences (TNOs), which excludes fraud has increased by 4.1% to 29,192 offences over the last year.

During the 2015/16 period there has been a 1.47% increase in 'key neighbourhood crime categories' to 4,838 offences, with theft from the person up 8.3%, 2,700 more criminal damage offences, theft of motor vehicle now up to 203 offences and violence with injury up by 5.4% with 3,700 offences.

Despite the rises in these categories over the last 12 months, figures are still lower than they were in 2011/12. Theft from person has reduced by nearly a fifth since 2011/12, with 8,061 fewer offences.

Robbery offences are now at their lowest level for the last 18 years, with 427 fewer offences of personal robbery and mobile phone robbery seeing a larger reduction at 773 fewer offences.

Burglary continues its downward trend with offences at their lowest level since at least 1973-1974. There were 4,000 fewer offences in total for the financial year 2015/16 compared with 2014/15.

Also at its lowest level since 1973/74 is theft from motor vehicle, down by 0.4% - nearly 200 fewer crimes.

There has been a 18.6% reduction in neighbourhood crime, with 76,406 fewer offences, across the capital since 2011/12 - almost twice the fall seen by the rest of England and Wales.

'Not many capital cities with low rates of serious crime'

Assistant Commissioner Helen King, Territorial Policing said: "London is a major, much visited, vibrant and growing capital city with diverse policing needs and is one of the safest global cities in the world.

“It is for this reason that people from other countries invest millions of pounds in London.

“There are not many capital cities in the world with such low rates of serious crime, such as murder and gun crime.

"The Met is continuing to work with partners, businesses and the public to reduce the number of offences taking place.

“Our officers have spent the last year conducting both pro active operations and preventative work in order to reduce crime, better support victims and build more engagement with communities.”

"We will continue to keep up our intensified focus on areas such as violence where we have seen a rise in recorded offences. We must not lose sight of the reductions we have achieved over the last five years."

Policing activities and crime prevention initiatives are in place to tackle neighbourhood crime, such as enhanced resources deployed at locations where violence disproportionately occurs through high visibility patrols and enforcing no drinking zones, to new licensing initiatives such as breathalyser machines, aimed at preventing violence at late night venues.

Innovative methods to tackle burglary include predictive crime mapping, and the roll out of a forensic property marking programme named MetTrace in partnership with SmartWater®, which is being delivered to every London borough.

Officers are using ‘super cocooning’ to support victims and prevent offences in the surrounding neighbourhood. Safer Neighbourhood Teams pay a home visit to victims and their neighbours, as soon as possible after an offence is reported, to give crime prevention advice and gather local intelligence, while patrols are stepped up in the area.

Full advice on the prevention of a number of different crimes can be found on the Met Police website.