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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2004, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
Stabbings 'a public health issue'
Knives
Thousands of stabbings take place every year
Knife crime in the west of Scotland should be treated as a public health issue like heart disease or cancer, according to a leading doctor.

Last year there were more than 9,000 violent incidents in the Strathclyde area.

Andrew Murday, director of the Scottish Heart Transplant Unit, said the issue has to be reviewed.

Mr Murday said knife crime was a public health priority which the health board should look at.

He told BBC Radio's Sunday Live programme: "If people realised that your chances of being murdered in Glasgow were twice as high as they are in London then people would hopefully begin to talk about it.

"We hope that the Greater Glasgow NHS, the health board, might consider taking up the issue of violence as a specific targeted area for public health efforts."

Sword attacks

He added: "You're talking about thousands of people affected each year, just in Glasgow alone."

Mr Murday is calling for a multi-agency approach involving police, religious groups, community groups and a full debate on knife carrying and its effects.

Last year Strathclyde Police found nearly 3,000 blades being carried illegally in a public place.

Rudy Crawford, an A&E consultant at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: "People carry all sorts of weapons, some of them quite horrific, ranging from small pocket knives that they think can't inflict a fatal injury, which is entirely wrong, up to machetes, bayonets, swords.

"Swords are actually fairly popular and I think we in the west of Scotland, and in Glasgow in particular, probably see more sword injuries than anywhere else in the UK or even Europe for that matter."


SEE ALSO
Weapons seized by metal detectors
01 Mar 04 |  Scotland
Police use knife crime powers
28 Feb 04 |  Scotland
Metal detectors to aid crime blitz
09 Jan 04 |  Scotland
Knife culture warning issued
09 Sep 02 |  Scotland
Police call for blade crusade
04 Sep 02 |  Scotland

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