Arrests for assault and other violent crime rose by 20% in 2004/5, Home Office figures indicate.
Police held 395,800 over violent crime, the report said
A total of 395,800 people were held by police for assaults and other serious violent incidents, compared with 332,100 for the previous 12 months.
In 1999/2000 there were 255,500 arrests for violence, meaning there has been a rise of 55% in five years.
The figures also showed 1.35 million people were arrested in England and Wales in 2004-05, up 2%.
Stop and search
The number of people arrested for all types of violent crime - including sex offences and robbery - rose to 460,000, an increase of 16%.
Stop and searches were carried out on 851,200 people and vehicles in the year.
The 14% increase is thought to be the result of heightened security - although the figure does not cover the 7 July London bombings or their aftermath.
Of 42 police forces in England and Wales, 31 used the tactic most often.
The number of people arrested after being stopped and searched, however, had fallen two percentage points to 11%
The number of people stopped by police for "other" reasons - including suspicion of terrorism - was 58,700, a rise of 32%.
The statistics also showed an increase in the number of people being held for 24 hours and released without charge.
Over the course of the year, 1,132 people were held for a day and then released - an increase of 82% compared to the previous year.