London, July 18 : the British Crime Survey shows that a knife thug strikes once in every four minutes in the crime-riddled country.
Knife thugs committed 130,000 crimes last year, the report has revealed.
The Government survey is thought to give a truer picture than police figures as it is based on quizzing victims, many of whom do not report crimes.
And it suggests five in six knife offences do not show up in police forces' statistics, The Mirror reported.
Yet the real scale of the epidemic is feared to be far worse as Thursday's report ignores under-16s and does not cover Scotland and Northern Ireland.
It was released alongside separate police figures for England and Wales that for the first time included a category on blade crimes.
Officers recorded 22,151 crimes, a tally that is one-sixth that of the Crime Survey and does not even include murders.
Police have said that the five million total recorded crimes are down by nine per cent in a year.
But opposition politicians ridiculed the claim and demanded officers be freed from red tape and allowed to patrol streets.
Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said: "The scale of knife crime is a shocking indictment of Labour's failure. Police have been tied up in so much red tape that they can only spend 14 per cent of their time on the beat."
Cops say blades were used in 231 murder bids, 14,000 raids and 8,000 wounding.
London saw most crimes, 7,428, and Dorset fewest, 47. The data for the 12 months to March this year also lays bare the rise of gang thuggery among the young.
A third of violent crime involves three or more knife thugs and schoolkids behind one in eight attacks.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was "extremely pleased" with the overall figures but pledged to do more so everyone feels improvement.