A&E stats suggest drop in violence

A Cardiff University study of the latest A&E data suggests that overall levels of violence in England and Wales are on the decline, in spite of an increase in knife crime.

The research found that admissions of patients injured in violent attacks dropped 1.7 per cent last year, claiming that a rise in knife crime, gun crime and homicide recorded by police is not part of a wider upsurge.

Experts analysed data collected from a sample of 126 A&E departments, minor injury units and walk-in centres across Wales and all nine regions of England. They estimate 187,584 people attended A&E with injuries sustained in violence in 2018 - 3,162 fewer than the previous year.

The National Violence Surveillance Network (NVSN) survey, which has recorded a near consistent downward trend in violent crime since it was launched in 2002, also suggested that fewer younger people sought hospital treatment, which they said was "contrary" to public perceptions of a violent crime ‘epidemic’ among teenagers.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, part of the Crime & Security Research Institute at the university, who authored the report, said: “Many factors may be responsible for increases in weapon-related violence, including gang-related activity, increased weapon carrying and drug use. This is compounded by changes in police stop and search strategy."

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