Hospital admissions after all types of violence have increased from 82.7 per 100,000 population in 2000-01 to 114.4 per 100,000 in 2006-07, according to Jonathan Shepherd, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Cardiff University’s Violence Research Group.
Professor Shepherd concluded that although violence overall had become less frequent in England and Wales, injuries have become more serious.
He added that many violent incidents that result in medical treatment are not reported to the police for fear of reprisals, because assailants are unidentified or because victims themselves fear prosecution.
Mr Shepherd added: ‘Emergency departments can help by collecting anonymised data on the locations and times that violent events occur and the types of weapon used and by sharing these data with crime reduction agencies.
‘Unless violence hotspots are identified, they cannot be targeted.
'It is not safe to assume that the most serious violence, including knife and gun violence, will have been reported.’