Stab victims accounted for up to 80 admissions to Hertfordshire hospitals last year, figures suggest.

Data from NHS Digital shows that in hospitals across Hertfordshire, there were between 20 and 80 admissions of people following an “assault with a sharp object” in 2020.

The data between April 2020 and December 2020 is still provisional and likely to change, making it difficult to confirm a precise number of admissions at this point.

In Hertfordshire, no fewer than 11 admissions were for under-25s, while 56 were for those older.

This compares to between 21 and 87 admissions the year before.

Across England and Wales, there were 4,100 hospital admissions after attacks involving a sharp object last year, down from 4,800 in 2019.

The Ben Kinsella Trust, an anti-knife crime charity, said the Government must take steps to prevent another rise in attacks across the country as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

The charity believes the drop in admissions was largely achieved because of the various lockdown restrictions imposed in 2020 but notes when the first lockdown eased there was a “soar” of stabbings and attacks.

There are fears that once more restrictions are eased now in the coming months, there could be another rise of attacks.

Chief executive Patrick Green said: "While any drop in knife crime is clearly a good thing, there is an ominous warning contained in these figures.

"As the country unlocked in July, blade attacks soared."

In August, hospitals in England and Wales dealt with 543 admissions for assault with a sharp object – the highest monthly figure since comparable records began in 2012.

Admissions increased by 62 per cent between April and June – when the country was under the strictest coronavirus regulations – and July and September last year.

Office for National Statistics figures show knife crime rose by 25 per cent between these periods, with 12,120 offences across England and Wales.

Mr Green added: "As we emerge from lockdown three and restrictions are eased, the Government, local authorities and police must take steps to ensure that we do not see a similar surge in knife attacks as we witnessed last summer.

"This includes helping youth services to get up and running as soon as possible.

"It is imperative that young people have access to positive activities to keep them away from those who want to exploit them for criminal gain."

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said the Government is investing millions into tackling the causes of violent crime, supporting "vital" youth projects and working with local partners to protect young people at risk.

He added: “Too many young lives are being needlessly lost.

"We are working closely with the police and others to stop this senseless bloodshed, particularly as Covid restrictions are eased over coming months."