Norman Lamb writes: Tackling gun and knife crime – hospitals and police working together

nhs sign lrgTrying to make different departments work effectively with each other is a challenge that all Governments face, and this one is no different. It could be all too easy for objectives that fall between two departments to end up falling through the cracks.

That is why I am pleased to report on the efforts we are taking in the Department of Health to roll out the ‘Cardiff model’. This is a very simple measure that can have a dramatic impact on knife crime in an area.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto included a commitment to “make hospitals share non-confidential information with the police so they know where gun and knife crime is happening and can target stop-and-search in gun and knife crime hot spots”. This is something that we are now delivering in Government.

After the police, the NHS is the public service most likely to come into contact with victims of violent crime. Many victims of assault go to A&E but never report the incident to police. By sharing information such as the time and place of an assault or the type of attack with the local police, hospitals can enable them to spot patterns developing. Crucially, this in turn allows them to target resources effectively. In Cardiff, where the scheme was pioneered, violent crime fell by 40% over four years.

The previous government made no effort to collect information about how many hospitals were actually cooperating with local police forces in this way. We have changed that. A report published last week showed that almost 75% of areas in England have started to put data-sharing systems in place. However, only a third of areas are doing this effectively, and a fifth are not doing it at all.

Public health minister Anna Soubry has written to health chiefs across the country about this. We know the Cardiff model works. Now we need to ensure every community sees the benefit.

If you are interested, more information – including resources for NHS professionals and Community Safety Partnerships – is available online here.

* Norman Lamb is MP for North Norfolk and was Liberal Democrat Minister of State at the Department of Health until May 2015

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarCassieB 26th Feb - 10:09am
    Dr Jay, I've read and re-read you post and am still puzzled. Not least because you seem to think a single political party should agree...
  • User AvatarDaniel Walker 26th Feb - 9:48am
    @john The 34% figure was only ever an estimate, based on previous data for young people's votes. A post-referendum study found the youth turnout was...
  • User AvatarJohn 26th Feb - 9:38am
    Very true. And abandoned by Labour who have essentially adopted the Government's hard-Brexit position wholesale. BTW if you want a laugh on the subject I...
  • User AvatarAndy Coleby 26th Feb - 9:32am
    On reading the newspapers' analysis of the two bye-election results I find that The Observer is particularly depressing. I very rarely buy this newspaper but...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 26th Feb - 9:19am
    Matt, You are right. We should all be deeply ashamed that vulnerable people are treated in this way. The system should be designed to make...
  • User AvatarWilliam Wright 26th Feb - 8:40am
    I am totally bemused by a prime minister who thinks the first step in negotiating a trading agreement is to sack the arbitrator . If...