School ends then knife crime carnage begins for London’s children finds Royal London study

London’s school children are most likely to become victims of knife crime after classes finish and they go home, according to a joint study by The Royal London Hospital Major Trauma Unit and Queen Mary University published in the British Medical Journal.

4-6 pm worst time for school children stabbings

The study found that the frequency of attacks in children aged under 16 peaked between 4 pm and 6 pm on school days.

Almost half of the injuries (47 per cent) in children occurred within a one to five km radius from home. This reflects the average distance from home to school for London school children.

The report also shows that children have a higher overall risk of death compared with young adults despite comparable injuries.

Long-term multi-agency approach needed

Karim Brohi

“This work shows that children and young people in London are at risk by simply due to where they live and go to school,” said Karim Brohi, Consultant Trauma Surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust, Professor of Trauma Sciences at Queen Mary University of London and Director of the London Trauma System. “A long-term multi-agency and community approach is needed if we are to change the culture of violence that now permeates deprive areas of London.

“We can reduce knife violence and unnecessary child deaths, but need long-term evidence-based interventions in education, policing, the community and at home,” said Paul Vulliamy, Surgical Registrar at Barts Health NHS Trust and Clinical Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for Trauma Sciences.

Chances of repeat stabbings dramatically reduced

Since 2013 doctors have been working with the St Giles Trust charity and together have reduced the number of young people repeatedly returning to The Royal London Hospital with further stab injuries from 45 per cent to less than one per cent.

The dramatic reduction is a result of helping young people to turn their lives around including measures such as reintegration with education, employment and family.

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