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Rates of violence fall in England and Wales.

Serious violence dropped by 12% in England and Wales last year, a study by Cardiff University suggests.

Researchers have attributed the fall to changing alcohol habits, with binge drinking becoming less frequent in the two countries as well as falling alcohol prices.

Overall, an estimated 234,509 people attended emergency departments (EDs), minor injury units (MIUs) and walk-in centres in England and Wales for treatment following violence in 2013-32,780 fewer than in 2012.

Apart from a 7% increase in 2008, levels of serious violence have fallen every year since 2001.

The study showed serious violence affecting all age groups decreased in 2013.

Injuries among children were down 18%; in young adults fell by 14% overall (down by 14.3% in males and 13.3% in females); and in adult males and females decreased by 19.1% and 14.1%, respectively.

The findings confirmed those most at risk of serious violence-related injury continues to be males aged 18-30 and violence-related attendance at A&E was most frequent during the weekend.

Professor Sheila Hollins, Chair of the British Medical Association's Board of Science, said the study has renewed the organisation's call for a minimum alcohol unit price of 50p to curb problem drinking.


'We know there is a link between the cost and consumption of alcohol, highlighted again in this study. This makes the government's u-turn on minimum pricing, as well as their decision to scrap the alcohol escalator and reduce beer duty, all the more worrying,' she said.

'With the costs of alcohol-related harm estimated at 25bn [pounds sterling] across the UK, of which more than 3bn [pounds sterling] is on health care, there are clear economic, social and public health cases for tackling problem drinking.'

Unite/CPHVA Professional Officer, Ros Godson, said: 'Alcohol is well known to fuel violent behaviour and many young people "tank up" at home before going out for the evening. This risk-taking behaviour is hard to prevent, but society needs to stop colluding with the advertising industry and put stringent controls on how alcohol is marketed.'

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Title Annotation:NEWS DIGEST
Publication:Community Practitioner
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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