A 12-year study was carried out to investigate the development of interpersonal violence based on A and E department and/or forensic data from a Danish urban population. Included in the study were all victims of violence from the Odense municipality treated at the Odense University Hospital or subjected to medicolegal autopsy at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Southern Denmark 1991-2002. Overall 14,316 victims of violence were included in the study. The incidence rates of violence were 9.9 and 3.4 per 1000 population/year for males and females. For males the incidence rate decreased in the study period whereas the incidence rate was unchanged among females. Less serious lesions and wounds were the most common type of lesions. The percentage of less serious lesions increased in the study period. The percentage of potential severe lesions such as bone fractures and deep lesions decreased in the study period. The percentage of patients stabbed or cut with knives, the percentage of gunshots, and the mortality rate did not change in the study period. The present study showed no evidence of an increased frequency or severity of interpersonal violence which contrasts with the increased public concern about violence.