Serious violence fell during lockdowns, researchers say

Serious violence fell by almost a third in 2020 during coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, according to researchers.

May 12, 2021
By Website Editor

Analysis from Cardiff University’s Violence Research Group shows 56,653 fewer people were treated in hospital for injuries related to violent acts in 2020 compared with the previous year.

Published on Wednesday (May 12), the data gathered from 133 NHS hospital emergency units in England and Wales showed 119,111 people were admitted for treatment of violence-related injuries last year, down from 175,764 in 2019.

Emergency treatment for the injuries among males and females fell by 33 per cent and 29 per cent respectively, representing the biggest falls since the researchers’ first report 20 years ago.

The declines were greatest among children aged under 11 (66 per cent) and present in all age groups.

Men aged 18-30 were twice as likely as females to receive emergency hospital treatment for violent injury.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, co-author of Violence in England and Wales in 2020, said the first UK lockdown was particularly associated with “steep falls” in violence, as were the closure of pubs, clubs and other social venues, while each easing of restrictions was followed by an increase in violence.

Though from a violence perspective 2020 was the safest year on record, he warned the full picture on domestic violence “is still not clear”.

“Police in England and Wales recorded 842,813 domestic violence-related offences in the year to September 2020 but many such offences are not reported,” Dr Shepherd said.

“From an A&E perspective, in Cardiff, which may not be typical, levels of violence in the home did not change relative to 2019.”

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