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NHS statistics are being used to try and understand the extent of violent crime in Wales. 

A project run by Liverpool John Moores University collects information on why people are visiting accident and emergency departments and that can then be used to let police and local authorities know where violence is occurring. 

Martin Smith, from the Office of the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner who has responsibility for addressing serious violence, said all health boards in Wales feed information into a Public Health Wales internet portal. 

The information is then analysed by the trauma and injury intelligence group in Liverpool, Mr Smith told members of Monmouthshire County Council’s public services scrutiny committee. 

“That allows us to look at what’s going on in Wales in terms of people attending A&E, where are they attending A&E? And break it down to ward level and look at gender and age groups as well and the types of injury.” 

He said the data can also be compared with police figures: “Does that marry up with police data? What is it telling us in terms of injuries?” 

Councillors were considering the Gwent Serious Violence Prevention Strategy 2024/25, which is coordinated by the police and crime commissioner, and is a requirement, as a result of the 2022 Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, that public bodies including councils, health boards, the fire service and police work together to prevent and reduce serious violence in England and Wales. 

The first strategy councillors were updated on was produced to meet a Home Office deadline but Mr Smith said the next version could also include NHS statistics such as those gathered on violence by Public Health Wales. 

Committee chair, Chepstow councillor Armand Watts, asked why hate crimes weren’t specifically highlighted in the report. The Labour member said hate crimes can lead to other serious crimes. 

Mr Smith said the strategy is intended to reflect the priorities of all local partners and said: “I think it’s remis we haven’t got them in the document and we can take that forward the next time it’s published.” 

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