Ireland now has a most Serious Knife Culture Problem?

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Public urged to use knife crime app to help victims as stabbings rise

  12 hrs ago


a man wearing a hat© Provided by Extra.ie

Dr Morgan McMonagle, a vascular surgeon at University Hospital Waterford and Director of Trauma Training at the Royal College of Surgeons in England, has urged members of the public to download an app showing them how to treat victims of knife crime in the street.

As the issue of knife crime becomes an increasingly salient concern in Ireland, Dr McMonagle has collaborated with UK surgical training firm Touch Surgery to launch an app that is free of charge to download.

The app provides tutorials on how to manage knife wounds on the street in order to improve a victim’s prognosis once they are transported to hospital.
a person posing for the camera: Dr Morgan McMonagle, a vascular surgeon at University Hospital Waterford and Director of Trauma Training at the Royal College of Surgeons in England, has urged members of the public to download an app showing them how to treat victims of knife crime in the street. Pic: Twitter© Provided by Extra.ie Dr Morgan McMonagle, a vascular surgeon at University Hospital Waterford and Director of Trauma Training at the Royal College of Surgeons in England, has urged members of the public to download an app showing them how to treat victims of knife crime in the street. Pic: Twitter

Appearing on RTE’s Morning Ireland on Thursday, Dr McMonagle explained: ‘It’s easy to download, you can watch it on a smartphone, it tells you how to pack a wound, how to apply a tourniquet.

‘If I have one message to give out to the public in one of these events, it’s how to apply a tourniquet. There are two different types of knife wounds; one is where you can compress it on the limb, unfortunately the abdomen and chest you can’t.

But there was a high-profile case from the Manchester bombing showing that one of the victims would have survived if a tourniquet had been applied. We see that quite a lot, patients do much better if a tourniquet is applied pre-hospital.’a close up of a helmet: As the issue of knife crime becomes an increasingly salient concern in Ireland, Dr McMonagle has collaborated with UK surgical training firm Touch Surgery to launch an app that is free of charge to download. Pic: Shutterstock© Provided by Extra.ie As the issue of knife crime becomes an increasingly salient concern in Ireland, Dr McMonagle has collaborated with UK surgical training firm Touch Surgery to launch an app that is free of charge to download. Pic: Shutterstock

Speaking more generally about the issue of knife crime in Ireland, Dr McMonagle stated: ‘Both myself and my colleagues across the nation, not just in Waterford, are seeing quite an accelerated rise in knife crime amongst young people. Thankfully, most of the wounds that we’re seeing, we would describe them as relatively minor soft tissue injuries — they still need treatment. But we’re also seeing somewhat of an increase in the number of serious injuries, and there have been a few high-profile cases, both in the UK and Ireland, which highlight that.

‘In many ways in society, we put a lot of our efforts and our taxpayers’ money into what happens after a crime, whether it’s the justice department and the Gardai or the hospitals and what we do. I feel we don’t make a huge effort, or we don’t put the same level of energy into what happens before the crime at a societal level.’

Explaining that gang culture must be understood before it can be tackled, Dr McMonagle said: ‘Gangs go back for millennia. I trained in the US in trauma surgery, and most of those gangs are associated with guns, but of course cheap handguns are not available in this part of the world thankfully. Instead, knives have a symbolic status amongst gangs. When I as a trauma surgeon in London, we certainly saw a huge increase in knife crime issues, along with some very high-profile cases there as well.’a car parked on a city street: Speaking more generally about the issue of knife crime in Ireland, Dr McMonagle stated: ‘Both myself and my colleagues across the nation, not just in Waterford, are seeing quite an accelerated rise in knife crime amongst young people.’ Pic: RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie Speaking more generally about the issue of knife crime in Ireland, Dr McMonagle stated: ‘Both myself and my colleagues across the nation, not just in Waterford, are seeing quite an accelerated rise in knife crime amongst young people.’ Pic: RollingNews.ie

Dr McMonagle said that it is ‘shocking to see’ that the homicide rate per 100,000 heads of populations is higher in Ireland than in the UK, asserting: ‘It’s rising, and the trend is becoming an increasing problem.

‘If you think of the reasons why someone might join a gang, for that particular person — we, as middle class people, join clubs, they join gangs because there is a positive association. There’s a positive association for that particular member because there’s a commonality amongst the particular gang itself, and that can often come from very difficult circumstances, education, violence, drugs and what have you. Carrying a knife is symbolic of that gang culture, which we need to understand before we can tackle it; we need to understand it is a positive association for that particular person.’

Citing the example of the ways in which knife crime and gang culture was tackled in Glasgow, Scotland, Dr McMonagle continued: ‘It’s not just a police issue, it’s a society issue and it needs to be tackled on all fronts. In many ways, what you want to prevent the actual victim coming to hospital with a serious injury and/or death.’Dr McMonagle recommended the establishment of amnesty bins among communities particularly affected by knife crime and gang culture. Pic: Shutterstock© Provided by Extra.ie Dr McMonagle recommended the establishment of amnesty bins among communities particularly affected by knife crime and gang culture. Pic: Shutterstock

Dr McMonagle recommended the establishment of amnesty bins among communities particularly affected by knife crime and gang culture, saying: ‘You join a gang culture because you have a positive association with them, therefore, every other gang is the enemy, or every other gang has adverse implications for you — including the Gardai, including healthcare workers, including social workers, including teachers.

‘So, these people won’t come into Garda stations but maybe their parents will or maybe family members will, but you need to have the amnesty bins in the communities, with a presence, not necessarily a Garda presence, but some sort of presence. It has to be made easy for these people.’

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