Stabbings behind thousands of Greater Manchester hospital admissions
Assaults with knives and other sharp objects led to thousands of hospital admissions involving Greater Manchester residents in less than a decade, figures show.
Anti-knife crime charity the Ben Kinsella Trust called for more to be done to educate children about the impact of knife crime, with two in five stabbing admissions across England involving young people.
Between April 2012 and March this year, there were around 2,480 admissions of patients from the Greater Manchester policing area following an assault with a sharp object, according to data from NHS Digital.
Of those, around 35% involved people aged under 25.
Around 305 admissions followed attacks on people from the area in 2020-21 – the most recent period with complete data.
Figures are rounded to the nearest five to protect patient confidentiality.
The police force covering the patient's area of residence is recorded, meaning the assault could have happened elsewhere.
A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs' Council said knife crime was a policing priority nationally and that early intervention played a vital role in stopping young people from becoming involved in crime.
He added: "Preventing people from carrying knives is not something that police forces can do alone – it requires schools, charities, the health service and community groups to work together.
"It is through engagement and working with partners that we can deliver long-lasting change and ensure young people can see the devastating effects carrying a knife can have."
English NHS hospitals have recorded more than 38,000 hospital admissions of patients from police force areas in both England and Wales since 2012-13 – 40% of them involving young people.
And youngsters accounted for the same proportion of 4,000 hospital admissions recorded nationally in 2020-21.
Patrick Green, CEO of the Ben Kinsella Trust – a knife crime charity established in memory of a young stabbing victim – said the statistics were "shocking".
He said: "These figures show that knife crime remains a significant problem for the criminal justice system and the NHS.
"But more worryingly, they show that we are failing to protect young people.
"We need to do far more to educate young people about the dangers of knife crime."
Separate Home Office crime figures for England and Wales show 262 people lost their lives to a blade in the year to June, with nearly 47,000 serious knife crimes recorded in that time.
In Greater Manchester police recorded 3,363 serious knife crimes over the same period, including 17 murders, 1,511 assaults involving injury and 39 knife-related rapes or sexual offences.
The NPCC spokesman said tactics such as stop and search and the targeting of habitual knife carriers contributed to the rising number of offensive weapon crimes nationally.
He added: "We believe that with the addition of officers to the service and investment into new Violence Reduction Units, informed by active communities, we can play our role in preventing more tragic deaths.”