Air ambulance industry sees rise in knife crime callouts

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Statistics from Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (AAKSS) in the UK reveal the significant impact knife crime is having on emergency services, particularly air ambulance services

According to the figures, AAKSS critical missions across Kent, Surrey and Sussex related to knife crime were at an all-time high between June 2018 and June 2019, with 75 knife-related critical pre-hospital cases across the three counties.

This was the worst year of knife crime-related callouts in five years; and an increase of 32 per cent since 2013.

AAKSS’ data also revealed an increase in the proportion of female knife crime victims it treated; this stood at 12 per cent last year – its highest recorded level.

Dr Magnus Nelson, a HEMS consultant with AAKSS, said: “It is concerning that we have seen this rise in our region and we know that as part of our response to this we will continue to work with partners to support not only the immediate care for victims, but our engagement with partners and strategies to look at the longer term reduction in this type of violence.

“Our role in the treatment of the victims of this type of crime recognises the importance of being available 24 hours a day to provide a response region-wide. Our teams offer the high-acuity clinical interventions sometimes necessary to treat and stabilise patients, along with the ability to rapidly transport them to the region’s major trauma centres.

“These cases are always challenging and the existing ability of our teams to work with the other emergency services to make a positive difference is vital in good clinical outcomes.”