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Patients trying to hide gun crime from clinicians

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Patients involved in knife crime or gun crime are increasingly likely to lie to A&E staff in order to try and avoid police involvement, warn doctors.

The General Medical Council has recommended that all gunshot wounds be reported to the police in the interest of public safety. There also proposals to extend this to knife wounds.

Writing in the Lancet, doctors said: ‘In an attempt to avoid police involvement, victims might deny any link with firearms, especially if there is involvement in gangs or criminal activity.’

They cite two examples where bullets had later been discovered in radiology in patients that had previously denied any involvement with firearms on arrival in A&E.

Lancet (2009) 373: 631-632

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