Injuries related to car crime: the joy-riding epidemic Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • 'Joy-riding' is the term used, somewhat inappropriately, for the offence of taking a vehicle without the owner's consent. In certain areas, mainly deprived inner-city estates, there has been an increase in this crime. The aim of this study was to investigate its impact on the workload of an inner-city teaching hospital's busy accident and orthopaedic departments. In this prospective study, all patients admitted to hospital as a result of road-traffic accidents (RTAs) were identified during a 9 month period. A total of 1576 patients were admitted to the trauma unit. One hundred and fifty-two admissions were as a result of RTA and 20 (13 per cent) of these patients had injuries as a result of car crime. Of this group, eight were severely injured (ISS > 16) and six of these were innocent bystanders. Three patients (one joy-rider and two innocent bystanders) died as a result of car crime. The average length of hospital stay was 12 days (1-62 days) and the hospital in-patient costs were estimated to be at least 5200 pounds per patient. Injuries related to car crime results in a significant amount of work and financial cost to the National Health Service.

publication date

  • March 1996

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