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TOPIC: Is London's murder rate really worse than New York's?

Is London's murder rate really worse than New York's? 26 Jul 2018 19:47 #9489

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Is London's murder rate really worse than New York's?

Adam Lusher
Tuesday 3 April 2018 17:15

New figures published over the weekend suggested that an alarming tipping point had been reached when it came to comparisons of UK and US crime rates.

The Sunday Times compared the crime figures of London and New York, and found that for the first time in modern history the murder rate in the UK capital was higher than that in the Big Apple.

But how valid was the comparison, and what was the truth behind the statistics?

Why compare London with New York anyway?
In statistical terms, it works because the two cities have roughly the same population, (both slightly north of 8.5m) allowing a relatively easy comparison of murder rate per head of population.

One person stabbed to death every three days in London in 2018
And for those with longer memories, the idea of London having a higher murder rate than New York is particularly scary because in the recent past the American city was a byword for violent crime.

It hit a terrifying record of 2,245 murders in 1990, equivalent to six people being killed every day for a year.

So is it really true that London’s murder rate is now higher than New York’s?
Yes, but only if you look at the last two months – which some commentators think is way too short a time frame.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it recorded 15 murders in February, while in the same month the New York Police Department (NYPD) recorded 11 killings.

In March London also had more murders, albeit by a very slim margin: 22 to New York’s 21.

But as soon as you start to look beyond the relatively narrow confines of those two months, the statistics start to come out in London’s favour.

The Met says there were 8 murders in London in January, which compares with 18 killings in New York during the first month of the year.

Taking into account two murders that have occurred in London in April, so far in London there have been 47 murders in London, compared to the higher running total of 50 in New York.

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