Northumberland's violent injury toll

Hospital staff in the Northumberland area treated five serious assault victims a week last year, new figures show.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 2:07 pm

Anti-violence charities say the figures show more needs to be done to tackle issues such as knife crime and alcohol-fueled brawls.

NHS figures shows doctors at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust saw 255 patients who had been admitted to hospital after being assaulted in 2019-20 – an average of almost five patients every week.

They were among 5,255 assault victims recorded across the North East and Yorkshire.

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Nationally, 28,905 assault admissions were recorded.

Local breakdowns on the type of assault are not available, but nationally assault by bodily force was the most common cause of admission – accounting for 16,852 hospital stays – and knife and sharp object injuries accounted for 4,674 admissions and assaults with a blunt object 2,115.

The charity Stand Against Violence said the figures show knives are not as much of a problem as fists, despite "relentless emphasis" on knife crime.

CEO Adam Fouracre said: "We need to ensure our efforts to tackle violence focus on tackling violence holistically and not honing in on weapons.

“Alcohol use, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights, is a major contributor to societal violence.”

Patrick Green, CEO of anti-knife charity the Ben Kinsella Trust, said it was a relief to see a drop in knife-related injuries, after admissions fell from 5,069 in 2018-19.

But with admissions still the third highest for a decade, he said there is still a "long way to go before we can start to think that we are turning the tide on knife crime".