Serious assaults which left victims needing hospital treatment have soared over the past year, dealing a huge blow to Labour's insistence that violent crime is falling.
Stretched Accident and Emergency departments were forced to treat five badly injured victims of violent attacks every hour.
Ministers have highlighted figures from the British Crime Survey - a poll of 40,000 households - showing the number of assaults is on the wane.
But information compiled by NHS Trusts, which measures the number of injuries which required hospital treatment, show a leap of more than 3 per cent.
Figures obtained by the LibDems show that between December 2008 and November 2009 there were 43,446 patients treated for assault.
Of these 27,064 - or two in three - took place in the Government's Tackling Knives Action Plan areas, where police are supposedly targeting loutish behaviour.
The injuries requiring hospital treatment range from knife attacks and glassings to beatings.
Which does raise the question of how many people who are attacked don't bother to report that to the police, thinking that the feral scrote will not be caught?