NHS roped in to knife crime effort

By politics.co.uk staff

Hospitals will share data on their knife-related admissions as part of the next stage of the government’s campaign against knife crime.

An additional £220,000 will be provided to 100 hospitals by the end of the year to share the anonymous data, in a bid to improve intelligence about knife crime across the country.

Other measures in the second phase of the Tackling Knives include a £2 million media marketing campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of knives and £100,000 for specialist teams to tackle gang-related problems.

The government claims to have achieved a 17 per cent cut in the number of violent offences which involved a sharp instrument for victims aged under 20.

And provisional NHS figures for hospital admissions show a 32 per cent drop in admissions for assault with a sharp object for victims aged 19 or under.

“This is not a problem we can solve overnight but we remain totally committed to tackling youth violence,” home secretary Alan Johnson said.

The second phase of the campaign has been expanded to include all those under 25 and justice secretary Jack Straw is confident positive progress reflects the government’s “tough stance”.

“Latest figures show that more people are going to jail, and for longer, when caught carrying a knife,” he said.

“The message is clear that if you carry a knife, there are serious consequences and you could end up behind bars.”