Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature ­­­Emergency Medicine

Knife crime: the volunteer doctors teaching lifesaving skills to teenagers

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 06 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6363
  1. Alison Shepherd, freelance journalist, Kent
  1. ashepherd{at}

StreetDoctors aims not only to reduce the number of young people killed or injured by blades but also to boost the self esteem and confidence of those who live in fear, writes Alison Shepherd

The current level of knife crime in the UK has been termed an epidemic by the media and a national emergency by senior police officers.12

In the year to June 2019 the police recorded 44 076 knife crimes, a rise of a 7% on the previous year,3 and NHS figures show 4986 emergency hospital admissions for blade injuries in 2017-18, a rise of almost 14% on the year before.4

But an upsurge in knife attacks is no new phenomenon. As medical students at Liverpool University in 2008 Simon Jackson and Nick Rhead volunteered at a local youth offending team and were shocked to learn about young people’s experiences of violence and violent injuries. They realised that many victims could have had better outcomes if, instead of …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription