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Criminal law: Hospital admissions from violent incidents are declining

Despite the number of violent injuries that appear in newspapers across the UK, a surprising figure has emerged from recent research conducted by Cardiff University.

The annual study by the university's Violence and Society Research Group has found that the number of people treated in hospital after violent injury has fallen in England and Wales, based on recent figures from 2010.

The study concluded that this represents an 11% decrease from the previous year. This is part of an overall trend of falling incidents of violence over the last decade. The study estimates to fall over the decade at approximately a quarter.

However, a less-than-positive figure emerging from the study was that there has been an increase in the number of young children treated in hospital for injuries caused by a violent incident.

The number of children up to the age of 10 admitted to hospital for injuries from violent incidents increased by a fifth in 2010.

These figures are gathered from more than 56,000 people admitted to one of 59 emergency departments or minor injury units in England and Wales. The figures are then used to come up with an estimate for the total number of incidents dealt with by the NHS.

However, an obvious limitation of the study is that it does not include figures of people injured due to violent incidents but who do not attend hospital for their injuries.

Other studies have shown that the number of injuries that people do not go to hospital for is significant.

This is particularly true when the injuries occur through violent incidents caused by people known to the victim. Many victims of violent crime are reluctant to seek medical attention in this situation, paradoxically for fear of alerting the authorities.

Related links:

Read more on the article (BBC)
Read more on domestic violence (FindLaw)
Find criminal injuries compensation lawyers throughout the UK (FindLaw)