Trump says London knife violence turns hospital into war zone

US President Donald Trump did not identify the source of the information and did not provide the name of the hospital he was referring to in his speech to the National Rifle Association. PHOTO: AFP

DALLAS (BLOOMBERG) - US President Donald Trump said an unnamed London hospital had "blood all over the floors" from an epidemic of stabbings, suggesting in a speech to the National Rifle Association that nations with tougher gun laws have as much violent crime as the United States.

"I recently read a story that, in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital - right in the middle - is like a war zone for horrible stabbing wounds," Trump told the annual gathering of gun-rights advocates in Dallas on Friday.

Trump didn't identify the source of the information and didn't provide the name of the hospital.

"They don't have guns. They have knives. And, instead, there's blood all over the floors of this hospital," Trump said.

"They say it's as bad as a military war-zone hospital," Trump said.

"Knives, knives, knives. London hasn't been used to that. They're getting used to it. It's pretty tough."

London has experienced a surge in violent crime this year, with 52 people killed in the first 100 days of 2018. Murders in the city rose to 153 in the year to the end of March, from 101 the previous year.

But the magnitude of violent crime is still well below that of the US, where there were an estimated 17,250 murders in 2016, according to data compiled by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

In New York City that year, the bureau and the New York Police Department reported 335 homicides.

From March 2015 to March 2016, there were 571 homicides in England and Wales, according to Britain's Office for National Statistics.

Trump's speech in Dallas was his fourth in a row to the group's annual convention. The NRA spent US$30 million in support of Trump's 2016 campaign, lending him credibility with some conservatives.

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