Stabbings are 'spreading like a disease', warns top trauma surgeon

Mail Online | 11/13/2018 | Sam Blanchard Health Reporter For Mailonline
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Stabbings are spreading 'like a disease' because friends and family of victims are arming themselves, a leading trauma surgeon has warned.

Duncan Bew, of King's College Hospital, warned of the 'transmission' of stabbings, which he said sweep through networks of people.

Stab - Victims - Knife - Someone

He added many stab victims are those who started carrying a knife after seeing someone they know get stabbed.

His comments come after it was revealed today that London's murder rate in 2018 has topped last year's, with 68 of those deaths caused by stab wounds.

Mr - Bew - Comparison - Stabbings - Disease

Mr Bew's comparison of stabbings being like a disease refers to the way they spread through groups of people.

He suggests that when one person is stabbed, friends and family arm themselves, making a circle of people around the original victim who are more likely to be attacked because they now have a knife.

Circle - People - Cycle - Manner - Infection

Then, if one of those gets stabbed, another circle of people arming themselves forms around them – the cycle continues in a similar manner to an infection.

'We see violence acting like a disease, with clusters of transmission and spread,' Mr Bew told The Times.

Majority - People - Victims - People - Weapon

He added: 'The majority of people are victims, people who feel frightened, don't feel protected and so carry a weapon because they feel they have to protect themselves.

'The majority are driven by fear and people feeling they have to arm themselves.'

Threshold - People - People - Incidents

And because of this there is a 'lower threshold for people to injure people', because other non-violent or less serious incidents escalate more quickly.

He said fewer than 10 per cent of stab victims he treats are in gangs and some are as young as 11.

Study - Medical - Journal - Week - Mr

A study published in the British Medical Journal last week confirmed Mr Bew's concerns. It found one in 10 stab...
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