No, it hasn't. We've seen better recording, different definitions, better detection, and there have been several operations targetting gangs and street violence and weapons.
Importantly: police recorded crime statistics are not reliable, and so we don't use them in the UK. We use the ONS, which doesn't rely on police recording.
> "Knife crime also increased by 24% with 12,074 recorded offences from 2016 to 2017."
Does this only mean wounding using a knife, or does it include people carrying a knife?
We have strict knife laws in the UK, and there have been several police operations targetting people who carry knives. So the figure you quote includes people who were carrying, but not using, knives.
Here's what ONS says: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeand...
> This fairly flat trend continues that seen in recent years, with no significant year-on-year change since the survey year ending March 2014. However, the cumulative effect of this downward trend has seen a statistically significant decrease of 25% in the latest survey year compared with the year ending March 2013. The longer-term reductions in violent crime, as shown by the CSEW, are also reflected in the findings of research conducted by the Violence and Society Research Group at Cardiff University. Findings from their annual survey, covering a sample of hospital emergency departments and walk-in centers in England and Wales, show that serious violence-related attendances in 2016 showed a 10% fall compared with 2015 and continue a generally long-term downward trend.