Mayor leads dramatic rise in hospitals sharing data with police

15 January 2016

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, today heralded a dramatic increase in the number of London hospitals sharing data, with more than half of London’s Emergency Departments now sharing information with the police to help improve public safety, solve crimes and reduce violence across the capital.

Over the last eight months, the number of London Emergency Departments sharing data has more than quadrupled from just four to 17 out of 29, and the Mayor wants to see this number continue to grow. The rise is part of a £2 million programme being led by the Mayor to enable data sharing across all emergency departments in the capital, to be stored on a specially created ‘SafeStats’ portal. A similar approach, across all four of London’s Major Trauma Centres led by the Mayor since April 2015, has helped to reach 575 victims of serious youth violence and sexual exploitation, including 49 young people aged under 18 who were not known to any statutory agency.

Today, City Hall is hosting a special event to highlight the benefits of sharing this data and to encourage more hospitals to take up the practice, which has been found to help dramatically cut violent incidents. The information helps the police to identify repeat victims and victims of domestic violence visiting London’s hospitals and refer them to the support services they need. It offers intelligence about licensed premises that generate violence, weapons use, and where and when violent crime takes place, giving the police the information they need to intervene. In Cardiff where this form of data sharing was first trialled, violence in the area fell by 40 per cent.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP said: “It is vital that we work together to do everything possible to stamp out violence and crime in the capital. By sharing this kind of data we can make a real difference and it is fantastic to see so many more hospitals working with the police. This is excellent progress but there is still more to be done. We want to see every London emergency department sharing their data and working in partnership with the police to help drive down crime and keep Londoners safe.”

Speaking at the City Hall Information Sharing to Tackle Violence summit, the Deputy Mayor for Policing And Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, called on more hospitals across the capital to share their data and help improve safety in London. He said: “Sharing data between the 29 A&E departments and 32 Community Safety Partnerships is critical in improving our understanding of how to tackle violent crime and to improve the police response to both gun and knife crime. The new SafeStats portal will provide a wealth of intelligence from bodies across the capital, helping us to understand crime better and keep Londoners safer. It’s really encouraging to see so many Emergency Departments taking part, and I urge those who are not to sign up and get involved”.

Dr Adrian Boyle, Consultant Emergency Physician at Cambridge’s Addenbrookes Hospital, said: “I strongly support this initiative to reduce the harms of community violence in London.  Where this has been implemented well, there have been dramatic drops in the number of people needing emergency department care after an assault. The Mayor’s Office deserves great credit for getting all the relevant people together.”

Available to Community Safety Professionals, the new SafeStats data portal will hold information from bodies including the London Ambulance Service, British Transport Police and London Fire Brigade and contain incident information such as the time and date of arrival to A&E, where the incident occurred and the means of assault.

Notes to editors

  1. The 17 London Emergency Departments now sharing data with the police are: Charing Cross, St Mary’s, Whittington, Whipps Cross, Newham, Northwick Park, Ealing, West Middlesex, Royal Free, North Middlesex, Homerton, Royal London, Kings College, St Georges, King Georges, Ilford; Queens, Romford and St Thomas’.

  2. Funding for the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC)’s two-year project combines almost £1 million of Home Office innovation funding and MOPAC match funding, equating £1,948,19.

  3. The Cardiff model developed an entirely new way of preventing violence, in which Emergency Departments record the location and weapon used from people injured in violence, and share this data with police and local authorities. This is combined with police data to inform violence prevention strategy and tactics. It was led by Professor Jonathan Shepherd who will be delivering a keynote speech at the London Summit at City Hall today. For more information on the Cardiff model please visit: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/research/impact-and-innovation/research-impact/reducing-violent-crime    

  4. There are 32 Community Safety Partnerships in London (one for each borough).

  5. MOPAC commissioned staff from Redthread youth charity to work in all four Major Trauma Centres in London. Since April 2015, they have worked with 575 victims of serious youth violence and sexual exploitation to date, including 49 young people aged under 18 who were not known to any statutory agency. The 4 Major Trauma Centres (MCTs) are: St Mary’s, St George’s, KCH and the Royal London.