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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 02:36 GMT 03:36 UK
Fall in women's drink violence
Women drinking wine
The study shows fewer women are injured in drink related violence
Fewer women are getting injured in fights during nights out following the introduction of round-the-clock licensing laws, according to a study.

But the number of men going to hospital with serious violence-related injuries has remained the same.

The Cardiff University study looked at 33 hospitals across the UK during 2006 and found there was a 2% fall in overall levels of such injuries.

It is the first complete set of figures since 24-hour licensing became legal.

The law change in November 2005 triggered fears that longer opening hours would see a rise in street violence.

But researchers from Cardiff University's Violence Research Group found that approximately 6,000 fewer people needed hospital treatment for violence injuries than in 2005.

An estimated 364,000 people across England and Wales sought treatment in A&E departments following violence during 2006.

It is encouraging to see that the trend is downwards and that the feared effect of the licensing law change has not materialised
Prof Jonathan Shepherd

Figures showed the numbers of men getting injured remained the same but there was a drop of 8% in the number of women seeking treatment.

Results showed there were more violent incidents at weekends with the worst time of year being between April and October - peaking in July.

The figures coincide with official Home Office statistics into crime also published on Thursday. The Cardiff study has shown a consistent fall in the number of assault victims since 2000, while violent incidents recorded by the police have risen.

Professor Jonathan Shepherd, director of the Violence Research Group, said: "It seems likely that street CCTV and better targeted patrols mean that police are getting to fights more often and earlier.

"This would explain why incident numbers are up and injuries are down - police are intervening before anyone is seriously hurt.

"This illustrates the increasing injury prevention benefits of CCTV and targeted police activity in city centres.

"We estimate that some 364,000 people needed hospital treatment for assaults last year.

"That is still too many, but it is encouraging to see that the trend is downwards and that the feared effect of the licensing law change has not materialised."


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