A&E data shows drop in violent crime

Injuries sustained through violence are falling year-on-year in England and Wales, but critics claim the statistics are misleading

NHS emergency services in England and Wales saw a 12% decrease in injuries sustained through violence in 2013, according to a Cardiff University study.

The study, which included 117 emergency departments, minor injury units and walk-in centres in England and Wales, estimates that 234,509 people reported a violent injury last year; 30,000 fewer than in 2012.

Young men aged 18 to 30 are still most at risk, but the rate of violence for this group was down more than 14% on 2012.

Violence-related injuries have fallen since 2008, correlating with a declining rate of crime, documented by the Crime Survey for England and Wales and police records. There was a 7% spike in 2008, but despite this, violent crime has dropped every year since 2001.

However, the reliability of police records is considered questionable by some, after a study by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) released earlier this year revealed that a fifth of crimes in England and Wales could be going unrecorded by officers. The Cardiff University study also cannot account for violence-related injuries dealt with in private.