Hospitals should provide police with information when victims of woundings are treated in emergency departments, the Liberal Democrats said today.

The party’s home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said only three out of 10 hospitals were currently doing so, but in those areas crime had fallen by 40 per cent.

Mr Huhne said he accepted that overall the level of violent crime was gradually falling. But he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I do think, however, we can do far more on this than we are doing.

“At the moment, only about three out of 10 hospitals are providing police with the data of where woundings happen.”

He said where that information was given, crime fell by 40 per cent.

He went on: “Even in some of the so-called ‘tackling knife crime areas’ the government has set up, hospitals are not cooperating with the police. We ought to be doing it everywhere.”