Number of stabbing victims admitted to Leeds hospitals surges 40 per cent
The number of patients admitted to Leeds hospitals after being assaulted with a sharp object rose by 40 per cent in a year, NHS data has revealed.
In 2016-17 there were 75 patients admitted to hospitals in the city to be treated for stabbing related injuries.
The number of patients with these injuries annually had stayed between 70 and 80 since 2012-13 but shot to 105 in 2017-18, an increase of 40 per compared to the previous year.
This is significantly higher than the national average which rose just 15 per cent over the same time period.
Mr Stephen Bush, Clinical Director for Emergency and Speciality Medicine and Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust said: “We see over 220,000 people in our emergency departments (ED) every year.
"Our ED teams are experts at caring for patients with a wide range of injuries, some of which can be very serious.
"We work closely with specialists elsewhere in the hospital to ensure patients receive the best possible care whatever they come in with.”
The patients represented by these figures include those treated for stab wounds caused by knives.
Nationally knife crime is on the rise. Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show an 8 per cent increase in the number of recorded knife crimes in the year ending September 2018.
West Yorkshire Police's Detective Superintendent Chris Gibson said: “West Yorkshire Police remains committed to tackling and preventing knife crime, and we take all reports of incidents involving knives extremely seriously.
“It is no secret that there has been a national increase in knife crime in recent years, but we continue to take robust action against those involved in knife crime.
“We focus a lot of our prevention and intervention work on young people, with regular initiatives held across the force to try and discourage people from carrying knives.
DS Gibson, the force's knife crime lead explained the steps being taken to combat knife crime in Leeds and across the county.
He said: “This work includes test purchase operations, workshops and talks at schools, working alongside external charities and agencies, and holding weapons surrenders. We also take part in national initiatives, such as Operation Sceptre, to highlight the dangers of carrying a knife.
“Our message is clear – carrying a knife is not the answer. Around a third of all knife related injuries are caused by the victim’s own knife. We would ask you not to feel pressured into carrying a knife or to carry a knife for protection.
“We will take action against those involved in knife crime and would ask for anyone with information on knives being used for a criminal purpose to contact police.”
Nationally, the total number of hospital admissions for injuries caused by an assault with a knife or sharp object has gone up by almost a third, rising from 3,849 to 4,986 from 2012-13 to 2017-18.
The number of youths assaulted with sharp objects has risen by around 55 per cent over the same time period, with youngsters aged between 10 and 19 accounting for more than 1,000 admissions for stabbing injuries in 2017-18.
Prof Chris Moran, national clinical director for trauma, NHS England, said: “Violent crime destroys lives, devastates families, and diverts doctors’ time away from other essential patient care.
“Changes to NHS trauma services have saved an extra 1,600 lives in recent years, but hospital visits linked to knife crime and other violence is a major cause for concern and puts extra pressure on our expert staff."