Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Knife crime reporting
  1. Geoffrey Hughes
  1. Professor G Hughes, The Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, Australia 5000; cchdhb{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

If the UK media headlines of the last 12 months or so were to be retrospectively read by a visiting alien, the said alien—if handicapped by a lack of insight—would gain a distinct impression that our world is focused on a few specific repeated themes. Based on frequency of coverage, most stories would oscillate between those covering the economy, those covering the subterfuge of politicians trying to undermine the leadership of an increasingly unpopular Prime Minister, those reporting the vagaries of professional sport and those reporting that yet another teenager has been killed in a knife attack.

Early in the summer of 2008, the UK Home Secretary, under pressure and scrutiny from various quarters, tabled a motion that victims of such crimes should be visited in hospital by their assailants as soon as possible after the incident. The subsequent outcry to this challenging suggestion was so clamorous that the idea was quickly thrown into the “knee-jerk reaction” out-tray.

The BMJ published a thoughtful editorial on this sensitive issue that is well worth reading.1 We make no apologies for …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests: None.