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Number of assault victims rises in Brighton and Hove
Twelve assault victims a week in Sussex are left with injuries so serious they have to be admitted to hospital.
Most cases involve people who have been beaten up in a fight while others have been stabbed or glassed.
Figures show there has been a rise in incidents in Brighton and Hove although numbers across Sussex as a whole have fallen.
The NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) reports the county’s hospitals admitted 637 assault victims between April 2012 and the end of March compared to 695 the year before.
Brighton and Hove, which had the most incidents, rose from 325 to 334.
The city’s thriving nightlife means it is inundated with visitors every week, particularly at weekends, putting the Royal Sussex County Hospital’s accident and emergency department under extra pressure.
Around a fifth of the victims were men in their early 20s.
The numbers only take into account those who are badly injured enough to need to stay in hospital and do not include those who arrive at A&E for treatment and are then discharged.
Sussex Police Chief Inspector Simon Nelson said: “The number of assaults resulting in injury is going down in Sussex.
“The reason for the rise in reports in Brighton is the close work being done between officers and hospital staff to encourage better reporting of assaults.
“Now people are asked at reception if they have been injured as a result of an assault. In the past those questions were not asked so we did not know how many people were being injured.
“It means we now can get a better picture of where assaults are taking place, such as particular licensed premises, and can direct resources where they are needed or take action against offenders.”
HSCIC chairman Kingsley Manning said: “This information provides crucial evidence for health service commissioners, as well as local councils and police forces, ensuring they can direct resources effectively to the problem.”
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