Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of anonymised information sharing to prevent injury related to violence.
Design Experimental study and time series analysis of a prototype community partnership between the health service, police, and local government partners designed to prevent violence.
Setting Cardiff, Wales, and 14 comparison cities designated “most similar” by the Home Office in England and Wales.
Intervention After a 33 month development period, anonymised data relevant to violence prevention (precise violence location, time, days, and weapons) from patients attending emergency departments in Cardiff and reporting injury from violence were shared over 51 months with police and local authority partners and used to target resources for violence prevention.
Main outcome measures Health service records of hospital admissions related to violence and police records of woundings and less serious assaults in Cardiff and other cities after adjustment for potential confounders.
Results Information sharing and use were associated with a substantial and significant reduction in hospital admissions related to violence. In the intervention city (Cardiff) rates fell from seven to five a month per 100 000 population compared with an increase from five to eight in comparison cities (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.58, 95% confidence interval 0.49 to 0.69). Average rate of woundings recorded by the police changed from 54 to 82 a month per 100 000 population in Cardiff compared with an increase from 54 to 114 in comparison cities (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.68, 0.61 to 0.75). There was a significant increase in less serious assaults recorded by the police, from 15 to 20 a month per 100 000 population in Cardiff compared with a decrease from 42 to 33 in comparison cities (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.38, 1.13 to 1.70).
Conclusion An information sharing partnership between health services, police, and local government in Cardiff, Wales, altered policing and other strategies to prevent violence based on information collected from patients treated in emergency departments after injury sustained in violence. This intervention led to a significant reduction in violent injury and was associated with an increase in police recording of minor assaults in Cardiff compared with similar cities in England and Wales where this intervention was not implemented.