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A&E Data Suggests Violence On Decline

Overall levels of violence in England and Wales are on the decline, in spite of an increase in knife crime, a study of A&E data suggests.

Analysis by Cardiff University found admissions of patients injured in violent attacks dropped 1.7% in 2018. It indicates a rise in knife crime, gun crime and homicide recorded by police is not part of a wider upsurge.

The study’s authors said the rise of “high harm” crimes amid falling overall violence was “difficult to explain”.

The National Violence Surveillance Network (NVSN) survey has recorded a near consistent downward trend in violent crime since it was launched in 2002, although levels have remained relatively stable in recent years.

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 also suggested fewer younger people sought hospital treatment, which they said was “contrary” to public perceptions of a violent crime “epidemic” among teenagers. However, there was a small increase in the number of women who were attacked and injured and a rise of more than 5% among both men and women aged 51 and over.

The figures give a different impression to police data, which suggests violent crime recorded by police in England and Wales rose 19% in the 12 months to the end of September.