Levels of knife crime locally have bucked the national trend, while the rest of the country saw a significant increase.

Nationally, the number of knife possession offences that resulted in a caution or sentence reached the highest level since 2011.

But in Greater Manchester the figures for that type of violent crime remained roughly the same for the third year in a row

Around the country there were 19,089 knife possession offences committed in 2016, up from 17,437 in 2015.

In 2013, there were 16,242 knife crime offences committed nationally, with the number of crimes now almost 3,000 higher than it was then.

However, in Greater Manchester the number of knife crime offences was 779, up just seven from 772 in 2015.

In 2014 there were 771 knife crimes in the area, and the figure has fallen every year from 2008 until 2014.

The number of offences has halved since 2008 in Greater Manchester when there were 1,444 knife possession crimes.

In November last year, a knife amnesty was held across Greater Manchester where people could dispose of their knives anonymously at police stations.

Bolton Police Station was open throughout the week as people handed over their weapons.

The surrendered weapons were donated to British Ironworks to help create an ongoing work of art as a lasting tribute to those from across the UK who have lost their lives to knife crime.

The rate of knife possession offences per 100,000 people also remained the same in the region at 33, down from 63 crimes per 100,000 people in 2008.

Police last year said that the amnesty campaigns helped to make Greater Manchester a safer place to live.

The 2015 amnesty saw a huge yellow skip full of blades surrendered, with so many collected that officers were unable to count them in the region.

The collection of knives through amnesties also helps combat crime as deposited weapons are routinely tested for DNA to see if they could have been used in a crime.

Responding to the national figures, Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said that knife crime 'ruins lives and devastates communities', adding that those who carry blades should feel the full force of the law.