Violence in the community: a health service view from a UK Accident and Emergency Department

Public Health. 2002 Jan;116(1):15-21. doi: 10.1038/sj/ph/1900809.


A retrospective analysis of information recorded on victims of assault, who attended the Accident and Emergency department of Chorley and South Ribble Hospital over a 1 y period, was performed in order to describe the epidemiology of violent assault. During the year 735 (1.7%) of the patients attending A&E were identified as being victims of assault (71% were male). Victims were predominantly in their late teens and early 20s (median age 23 y, inter-quartile range 17 to 32 y). They attended at weekends (44% on Saturday or Sunday) and predominantly between the hours of 8 pm and 4 am (54%). Minor injuries were the most frequent (43%) while 21% of victims sustained lacerations and 11% had a fracture. The commonest site of injury was to the neck, face and throat (55%). The crude rate of attendance following violent assault for Chorley District was 4.67 per 1000 population per year. Information routinely collected by A&E departments can be used to describe the epidemiology of violence in the community. Further work is required to ascertain the optimal method of collection and dissemination of this information.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Utilization Review
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*