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Victims stay quiet as medical staff report stabbings – Hampshire police and crime commissioner Donna Jones

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DOCTORS and nurses in A&E departments are increasingly the ones who report stabbings to the police, a commissioner has said.

At a Hampshire police and crime panel meeting, police and crime commissioner Donna Jones voiced her concerns over the force not being the first point of contact for such incidents, writes David George of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Instead, those deep in the world of organised crime are either keeping quiet about their injuries, or going straight to hospital without alerting police.

Donna Jones, PCC for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Donna Jones, PCC for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

This, Mrs Jones added, means police do not have an accurate picture of the level of gang crime in these areas.

She said: "What we know with organised crime is that when people are stabbed, they don’t report that to the police – so it’s often the doctors and nurses in A&E that uncover that somebody has a nasty 6in or 7in stab wound – which could have been fatal.

"It’s really important that we’re mapping what the level of harm is, because when you have organised crime gangs they don’t go to the police for help.

"They deal with it themselves, and we can’t put adequate resources in if we don’t know what’s going on out there."

In her report to councillors, Mrs Jones added that for this financial year, £200,000 was awarded by the Ministry of Justice to put youth navigators in Hampshire hospitals.

Youth navigators are full-time workers who support adolescents in hospitals who have complex social needs and are in crisis.

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust added that it works closely with police to report incidents related to both patients and staff.

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: "We know that some victims of knife crime may be unwilling or afraid to engage with police about an attack.

"Tackling and reducing knife crime is a priority for us, working with partners and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight violence reduction unit.

"Silence does not stop violence, and so we would encourage anyone who notices unusual activity or is concerned that someone may be carrying a knife to report this to us, either by calling 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

In an emergency, people should always dial 999.

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