Ok, so I’m not going to bang on about the health effects of drinking. You probably all know about units and all that stuff anyway. What I am going to talk about is how we are helping to make your weekend drinking a safer experience.
Working with the hospitals across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole we are collecting anonymous data on any violent assaults which can then be shared with Police and other support agencies. Just to be clear we don’t get medical records from the hospitals, and we don’t know who the victims are or where they live. We only want to know what happened if they were assaulted – where the assault was, when it happened, whether alcohol was involved, those kinds of things.
This approach is often referred to as the Cardiff Model, because that’s the first place it was tried out (well duh!). It has been repeatedly demonstrated that collecting this kind of information helps police and communities reduce levels of violence and hospital admissions. Since it began many hospitals have used the Cardiff Model to share anonymous information about patients and hospital emergency departments are now expected to gather and share information from assault victims.
Why are we sticking our noses into this? Well we want to help make Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole as safe as possible, and by collecting this information we can look for patterns in assaults – time of the day, day of the week and seasonal trends. By understanding this information and working with the police, community safety and licencing teams, we can develop ways to better target resources at places and times where assaults are most likely to occur.
So what do we know so far? Well, looking at data we can see that generally the number of assaults has not changed much over the last few years, however, there is usually an increase in the number of assaults in August and December & January. Most assaults involve alcohol (attacker or victim) and occur between 1am and 6am on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Unusually, this year, we have seen an increase in the number of people assaulted in March and visiting Poole emergency department. We are currently investigating the cause.
We also know that most assaults take place in the street, most victims are men, and most are attacked by a stranger. However, when women are assaulted it is usually someone they know and happens in the home.
If you’re interested in finding out about the violence surveillance scheme you can get more information and explore some of the data yourself on our website here.
Thanks for reading!