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Knife crime soars as surgeon blames teenage gangs, MPs told

PUBLISHED: 14:24 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:50 05 October 2010

CHILDREN as young as 13 are being treated for stab wounds at East London’s major trauma hospital, a consultant told MPs at Westminster yesterday (Tuesday). The Royal London in Whitechapel has treated 70 knife victims under 20 years old so far this year, compared to just nine in 2003. They include five children so far this year who have had to be admitted

Gemma Collins

CHILDREN as young as 13 are being treated for stab wounds at East London’s major trauma hospital, a consultant told MPs at Westminster yesterday (Tuesday).

The Royal London in Whitechapel has treated 70 knife victims under 20 years old so far this year, compared to just nine in 2003.

The stab victims so far this year include five children who have had to be admitted, consultant trauma surgeon Karim Brohi revealed.

Medics never treating a child for stab wounds until a year ago.

Prof Brohi told the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee that the Royal London was on course to deal with nearly 280 serious stabbings by the end of the year—compared to only 68 in 2003.

He blamed teenage gangs, particularly those recruiting school kids, for the soaring numbers.

Prof Brohi, who has worked at the Royal London more than two years, told MPs: “The teenagers have different reasons for carrying a weapon—they tend to be to do with school gangs and local gangs.”

He has noticed more teenage girls were carrying knives, although 95 per cent of victims were boys.

More than half of the stabbings he saw were clearly intended to be fatal, he told MPs, with attackers aiming at or hitting the victim’s head or chest.

By comparison, the number of people injured in drunken street fights remained unchanged.

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