Covid-19 restrictions led to the sharpest fall in violent crime for at least 20 years, a report suggests.
Violence was down by a third in England and Wales in 2020 compared with the previous year, according to research by Cardiff University.
“From a violence perspective, 2020 was the safest year on record,” said co-author Prof Jonathan Shepherd.
But the report also found that the easing of restrictions was “accompanied by rapid increases” in violence.
Cardiff University’s Violence Research Group analysed data for the whole of 2020 from 133 NHS hospital emergency departments, minor-injury units and walk-in centres, across England and Wales.
The number of people who attended for treatment of violence-related injuries in 2020 was 119,111 – 56,653 fewer than in the previous year.
The reductions were across all age groups but were most marked among children under the age of 11, where violence levels were down by 66%.