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Observations BMJ Confidential

Martin Griffiths: Healing the wounds of knife crime

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 18 April 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1579
Duncan Smith


Martin Griffiths, 52, is a leader in a rapidly growing area of medicine: patching up the victims of knife crime in London. He is a consultant vascular/trauma surgeon at the Royal London Hospital and is passionate about reducing violence in young people. For the past 15 years he has worked with a case support team to prevent injury. They work with victims to unravel the complex social reasons behind knife crime, offering holistic support to help prevent further harm. Victims are getting younger and injuries are multiplying, he warns, as grudges broadcast on social media can turn disputes into attacks. Knife crime should be treated as a public health issue, he argues: “If 600 kids a year aged 18 and under were being hospitalised every year as a result of their mobile phones exploding, there would be a huge outcry.”

What was your earliest ambition?

To be an aircraft mechanic. I was obsessed with Star Trek, and I idolised Scotty for how he managed to save the Enterprise in all circumstances.

What was your best career move?

Applying for a locum consultant vascular/trauma post at the Royal London Hospital. I was superbly trained and mentored, and I work in a vibrant service with the best colleagues I could hope for. …

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