Liver Birds
Sculptures of the fearsome Liver Bird adorn a lampost outside the Municipal Buildings.Reuters

People living in some parts of England are up to seven times more likely than residents in other areas of the country to suffer a violent assault that puts them in hospital, according to new figures.

Hospitals on Merseyside have 13 assault admissions per 10,000 people, against 2.3 per 10,000 in the Thames Valley.

The rate on Merseyside is much higher than anywhere else in England.

The second highest rate is in Lancashire, which has eight admissions per 10,000 people. The average across England was 5.2 per 10,000.

The figures, released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, show a general decline in violence admissions into NHS hospitals.

However, the number of women going into hospital accident and emergency units after being attacked is falling at a slower rate than for men.

The reasons for the high Merseyside figures are unclear as categories and classifications may not be consistent for this data across NHS Trusts.

Also transfers of data within and between different NHS computer systems are not always wholly reliable.