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Number of child stab cases doubles

Hospitals have reported a doubling in the number of school-aged children admitted with knife wounds over the past five years.

There has been a massive upsurge in child stab victims admitted to accident and emergency, particularly among the under-16 age group, according to official figures.

There are fears of a major increase in knife crime among teenagers after a spate of young deaths from stabbings.

Latest figures compiled by the Hospital Episodes Statistics show that admissions for stab wounds have increased every year since at least 2002/03.

But the growth is higher among under-18s and higher still among under-16s.

In the youngest age group, the number of children seeking treatment for stab wounds rose by 88%, from from 95 in 2002/3 to 179 in 2006/7, the latest year for which figures are available.

Among 16 to 18-year-olds, there has been a 75% growth from 429 to 752.

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Hospital Episodes Statistics