ASSAULTS with knives and other sharp objects led to hundreds of hospital admissions involving Avon and Somerset residents in less than a decade, figures show.

Between April 2012 and March this year, there were around 790 admissions of patients from the Avon and Somerset policing area following an assault with a sharp object, according to data from NHS Digital.

Of those, around 35% involved people aged under 25.

Around 105 admissions followed attacks on people from the area in 2020-21 – the most recent period with complete data.

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs' Council said knife crime was a policing priority nationally and that early intervention played a vital role in stopping young people from becoming involved in crime.

He added: "Preventing people from carrying knives is not something that police forces can do alone – it requires schools, charities, the health service and community groups to work together.

"It is through engagement and working with partners that we can deliver long-lasting change and ensure young people can see the devastating effects carrying a knife can have."

English NHS hospitals have recorded more than 38,000 hospital admissions of patients from police force areas in both England and Wales since 2012-13 – 40% of them involving young people.

And youngsters accounted for the same proportion of 4,000 hospital admissions recorded nationally in 2020-21.

Separate Home Office crime figures for England and Wales show 262 people lost their lives to a blade in the year to June, with nearly 47,000 serious knife crimes recorded in that time.

In Avon and Somerset police recorded 1,234 serious knife crimes over the same period, including eight murders, 650 assaults involving injury and 21 knife-related rapes or sexual offences.