The number of people caught carrying a weapon in Slough has risen nearly 15 per cent in a year.

In the last 12 months – from October 2018 until September 2019 – 158 incidents of people being in possession of a weapon have been recorded by Thames Valley Police.

A weapon could be anything from a knife to a gun.

The latest crime figures from the force have revealed the sharp rise since the year before, when only 138 incidents were recorded over the same 12-month period.

According to TVP – which cover Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire – the area is a ‘safe place’.

Both the force and the police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld suggested the rocketing figures could be put down to increased police tactics to catch people – like stop and searches and knife arches.

Last month 15-year-old Elton Gashaj was stabbed to death in Salt Hill Park.

In May 24-year-old Nadeem Uddin Hameed Mohammed died after being stabbed in Tesco’s car park.

The elected-head of the force, Mr Stansfeld, said: “We are all saddened by the recent events in Slough and rise in possession of weapons is of concern to us all.

“I am working hard with Thames Valley Police to address this issue.

“The number of stop and searches we do has been considerably increased, and this accounts for much of the apparent rise in knife crime.

“I hope that the events in Slough will not be replicated.

“I don’t think we will ever be satisfied with the crime figures until we can solve every crime but we will continue to strive to support our communities in any way we can.”

Earlier this year TVP took part in Operation Sceptre, a national campaign to reduce knife crime.

Knife amnesty bins were put into 16 different stations around Thames Valley in a bid to get people to hand over their weapons with no questions asked.

In total, 515 knives and blades were handed over.

A police spokesperson said: “We are policing in challenging times with increased demand, financial uncertainty and a changing crime landscape.

“Importantly the Thames Valley reminds a safe place to live, work and visit with low crime rates compared to other parts of the UK and figures from the ONS highlight the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime has fallen – with only 1.5 in 10 adults a victim of crime compared to 4 in 10 in 1995.”