London (CNN)The number of young individuals admitted to hospital with wounds inflicted by knives or sharp objects has soared by more than half in England, according to official figures released by the National Health Service (NHS).
England's knife crime epidemic sees 54% rise in young stabbing injuries in 5 years
A total of 1,012 people aged between 10 and 19 were admitted to hospital with wounds caused by knives or sharp objects last year, up from 656 hospital admissions in the same period five years earlier, according to NHS England. A total of 103 people aged under 24 were killed by sharp objects in the year ending March 2018, compared to just 58 in 2012/13.
The overall admissions across all age groups for these injuries also rose by close to a third since 2012, from 3,849 to 4,986 last year.
Professor Chris Moran, national clinical director for trauma, NHS England, warned that hospital visits linked to knife crime are a "major cause for concern and put extra pressure on our expert staff."
"Violent crime destroys lives, devastates families, and diverts doctors' time away from other essential patient care," he said in a statement. "Far too many young people are able to buy knives on the high street, and we need councils and retailers to work together to stop this."
Martin Griffiths, head of trauma surgery at The Royal London Hospital, also noted that he sees on average two stabbings every day, which he warns have "relentless repercussions that stretch far beyond the victim."
"You never forget the sound a mother makes when given the devastating news that her child has died," he said in a statement. "I see the wasted opportunities of young people stuck on hospital wards with life-changing injuries. Friends don't always visit, they carry on with their lives."