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Knife injuries “show sharp rise” in UK

The number of people admitted to hospital with injuries sustained in knife attacks has shot up by nearly a third since Labour came to power, a committee of UK MPs has been told.

The Home Affairs Select Committee heard that one hospital has seen the number of seriously injured stabbing victims more than quadruple in the last five years.

Professor Karim Brohi, a trauma surgeon at Barts and the London NHS Trust, told the MPs much of the increase is due to territorial teenage gangs linked to schools or postcode areas.

In 2003 his hospital trust admitted 68 people suffering serious knife injuries, but by 2006 the figure had reached 258, and this year it is expected to hit 278, he said.

The number of young victims treated for serious stab wounds has also risen dramatically. Just nine under-20s were treated in 2003, compared with 71 this year, when the youngest patient was 13 years old.

Mr Brohi said more than half of the stabbings he saw were clearly intended to be fatal as attackers have aimed for or hit the victim’s head or chest.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The Department is working to promote information sharing between key hospitals and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.”

Copyright © Press Association 2008

Home Affairs Select Committee