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Map of the Week - Murder UK

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Mark Easton | 17:17 UK time, Monday, 15 December 2008

On an average day in Britain, two or three people will be murdered. The UK currently has a homicide rate equivalent to the mid-Victorian period.

The prevalence of murder seems a reasonable proxy for the health or sickness of a society and this deteriorating picture of our islands perhaps tells us something about the profound problems of social cohesion.

teen homicide mapThis Map of the Week is part of a fascinating project conducted by my colleagues at the BBC News website. In the absence of relevant statistical information, the team trawled through newspaper cuttings, police records and other sources to produce a map of violent teenage deaths in the UK this year.

If you click on the image on the right, you'll be taken to the interactive map, which you can zoom in and out of to move between individual incidents.

Each of the purple icons reflects an appalling individual tragedy with the associated pain and suffering for families, friends and all those caught up in the incident. But what is the bigger picture?

England & Wales murder rate 1967-2001
Centre for Crime & Justice Studies - click here to enlarge

If we look at the murder rate from 1967 through to the turn of the millennium, it is obvious that the prevalence of homicide has been rising. There may have been a flattening or even a slight fall in the years after the graph but the likelihood of being killed by another hand is more than double what it was forty years ago. That thin black line shows we are a more violent society.

But it is not the whole story. While the murder rate has been rising overall, for most of the groups in the chart below, it has been falling. I am indebted to research published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies for this telling illustration of changing risk.

graph showing change in murder rate in the UK between 1981-5 and 1996-2000
Centre for Crime & Justice Studies - click here to enlarge

Here we compare murder rates by age and gender between 1981-5 and 1996-00. The most striking feature of the graph is that it reveals how the risk of homicide to women has fallen or remained stable for every age group with the exception of baby girls.

For men, it is the reverse, with rising risk for almost every age group. However, the real change is in a doubling of the risk for men in their early 20s and I would guess that more recent figures would see the line for teenage boys extending further too.

Who are the victims? Well, by and large, it ain't rich folks.

Looking at murder rates by wealth reveals how, in the most well-off areas, the murder rate has fallen 4-7%. But the poorer the neighbourhood, the more the risk has increased, with the most impoverished areas seeing a 39% rise.

mortality ratios for murder in Britain, by wealth, 1981/5-1996/2000
Centre for Crime & Justice Studies - click here to enlarge

Last from the UK, this chart shows how the method of murder also changes depending on the wealth of the area. Many victims of murder with a firearm are from wealthier areas, perhaps because it tends to be those with money who have shotguns and similar weapons in their homes.

Methods of murder by ward poverty, Britain, 1981-2000
Centre for Crime & Justice Studies - click here to enlarge

Finally, a global perspective on murder. This map twists the world so that a country's size equates to its homicide rate.

Murders, manslaughter, and 'lawful'
homicide by territories of the world, 2002
Murders, manslaughter, and "lawful" homicide by territories of the world, 2002. Colours simply differentiate nation-states. Courtesy Danny Dorling of the University of Sheffield. Larger version at the Environment & Planning website

The USA appears smaller than some might have guessed, while parts of South East Asia are very large. The UK looks bloated compared with continental Europe. As ever, I would appreciate your observations.

Comments

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  • 1. At 6:15pm on 15 Dec 2008, Cassius_voodoo wrote:

    Does this map account for all of the Harold Shipman deaths, which I suppose should retrospectively have been treated as homicide?

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  • 2. At 6:36pm on 15 Dec 2008, modernGladey wrote:

    2 questions - given that these numbers are not from official sources, what margin of error do we think we have in them?

    Are these real statistics or journalist statistics?

    I would have thought that "Murder" is a very tricky thing to pin down to correct time period, given the delay between event and conviction, and those cases where no conviction occurs, just a coroner's ruling. And ambiguous cases? Also the distinction between Murder vs manslaughter vs other accidental killings.

    Secondly, what is the "Mid Victorian Period" - what time frame, and what level of confidence do we have in the stats for that period? How have they been collated?

    Certainly, we currently have a lot of violent crime, but I worry about drawing a broad-brush conclusion from two sets of statistics with broad margins of error collected in different ways using methods and attitudes to reporting and recording information which may have changed radically in the century or so between collection.

    As a side note, I would also be intested in seeing if there were any noticeable effects around major 20th century conflicts (fewer potential victims and perpetrators during and afterwards...). I have heard some fairly intense people arguing about the side-effect benefits of war for keeping bad elements "down"....

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  • 3. At 7:08pm on 15 Dec 2008, beemoh wrote:

    So how long before somebody in the comments blames this entirely on:

    a. Asylum Seekers and other Immigrants
    b. Videogames, or
    c. Rap Music?

    /b

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  • 4. At 7:36pm on 15 Dec 2008, badgercourage wrote:

    Mark

    This subject is so emotive that it is essential to use accurate language, and be scrupulous about context and interpretation.

    I'm just an interested layman, but several things jump out at me:

    1. Are you talking about murder or homicide? They are NOT the same - homicide includes murder, manslaughter, infanticide and some other violent deaths so will always be a larger figure than murder. Table 1 says "homicide", the others "murder". Is this correct?

    2. If you want to use one as a proxy for the other you must be sure the proportions and definitions are consistent, which cannot be deduced from the figures you present.

    Has the definition of murder changed over time, i.e. are you sure you are comparing like with like? And are people more or less likely to be charged with murder for the same offence than in the past?

    2. The statistics you present end in 2000 or 2001/2, which denote the end of a period of rising homicides. Why do you stop then? More recent figures do not seem to show this trend, as Prof Dorling's article (which you use for the map at the end) makes clear. He says:

    "Rates of murder in Britain are currently falling (Home Office, 2007), but it will
    be some years before we know if these are real falls or simply lags in cases coming to
    trial. It is not inevitable that all is getting worse, and other form of serious violence
    such as deaths caused by dangerous driving, and serious wounding have also been recorded as falling very recently. In contrast to murder, suicide rates in Britain have been falling consistently since 1998 and the rates are so high that those falls are having a great effect on how many Britons die young."

    3. The disproportionate increase in murder involving young men in the poorest neighbourhoods looks pretty convincing but are you sure there is no reporting effect in this trend? I suspect that such crimes were seriously under-reported in the past but are now getting much greater intensity of reporting.

    If you are going to report about murder, please present the figures for murder not homicide, unless you are sure they show the same trend and make it clear you are using one as a proxy for the other, and take them as near to the current year as is statistically possible.

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  • 5. At 7:43pm on 15 Dec 2008, timurleng wrote:

    my thoughts are that it would be interesting to see the data separated by race? Stats in the US usually show a significantly higher murder rate among black males. I wonder what percentage of the overall rise in murder since the 70s this would account for.

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  • 6. At 8:36pm on 15 Dec 2008, watriler wrote:

    Safety poverty? Well to be poor of course means much more than not having enough money.

    There is a similar correlation between income level and health and access to health.

    Education also - just think of well off parents moving to be in the catchment area of a good school - not a choice open to poor people.

    Jobs etc.

    Whilst we have an economy based on a moderated version of the law of the jungle the social malaise depicted in these figures will continue. Over time it is inevitable there will be a very distinctive hostile underclass concentrated in semi lawless areas that are effectively no go for 'outsiders'.

    The credit crunch is accelerating society towards this state.

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  • 7. At 8:46pm on 15 Dec 2008, U11846789 wrote:

    There was 1 murder a day in 1967.

    There are 2 a day in 2008.

    In the meantime the population has almost doubled, overcrowding is rife and life is much much more stressful.

    So the proper conclusion is not that Britain is more violent but that - amazingly - Britain is NO MORE VIOLENT now than it was then.









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  • 8. At 8:50pm on 15 Dec 2008, newforestman wrote:

    Not convinced in the presentation of these statistices

    I quickly googled for the the murder rate per million population in western europe / usa and found a link to "nationmaster"
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

    which gives nearly identical rates for the major countries of western europe - france is higher, spain lower etc. The USA is nearly 3 times as high.

    However, converting rates to areas is misleading. All that really happens is that countries of high population density appear larger than countries of low density. Hence the large size of the UK relative to France, and the relatively small size of the USA.

    Interesting read, but must do better next time.

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  • 9. At 8:51pm on 15 Dec 2008, grumH wrote:

    I'm suspicious that the rise in murders goes up... but surely the population is also increasing... so is the rise in murders rising at the same rate as population increase.

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  • 10. At 9:41pm on 15 Dec 2008, John Ellis wrote:

    I notice rich people cant cut very well but then i don't suppose they are around such implements so the butler did it whom is in the poor end of the scale :)

    :D

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  • 11. At 00:11am on 16 Dec 2008, robelex wrote:

    As mentioned above, its really murder/homicide per unit population which is important

    I also wonder about how good the raw statistics are for health/sickness of society. although its difficult to quantify, the motive seems rather useful here. I would suggest splitting it by

    1) those involving family and relationships - which is probably the main on for the female murder rate so this could indicate that jealous partners are less likely to kill. Probably has little relation to other murder statistics, and any effort to reduce this sort of crime will propably be completely dfferent from those below

    2) organised crime/gangs - though this may say something about society, criminals who kill other criminals doesnt necessarily equate to a more dangerous society for the res of us

    3) petty violence/fights/unprovoked atacks etc - maybe has some overlap with 2) - this seems to be what worries people most

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  • 12. At 01:32am on 16 Dec 2008, harrietharmman wrote:

    Congratulations once again for exposing the massive increases in murdered men - something the media (and bbc in particular) often keeps quiet about.

    Ironic how we constantly here about the supposedly huge problem of "violence against women" from Harman and her extremist friends yet nothing about the contantly increasing number of male victims from someone who is supposedly the "Minister for Equality".

    Things are in fact worse than your graphs suggest. Men were of course far more likely to be murdered than women in the 1980s too so things have got worse for them from an already dismal starting point!

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  • 13. At 03:36am on 16 Dec 2008, androcentric wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 14. At 07:10am on 16 Dec 2008, cping500 wrote:

    I note that more kids killed themselves than are being unlawfully killed (homicide) but the biggest cause of death was accidents.( mostly road) So where should be our concern?

    Incidentally because some years ago manslaughter with a car was renamed 'causing death by dangerous driving' (or even careless driving) because petrolhead juries would not convict. It has began to attract the same level of sentences a manslaughter a charge which now follows any death resulting from any injury caused by personal contact. Push someone over and they hit and they die from hitting their head on the kerb and you are up for it.

    Incidentally as some of the stories show whether or not you die in an incidents is a matter of chance (and the skills of those at the scene and the medics)

    Any preventable death of any person however caused should be a matter of concern whatever the neocon politics.

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  • 15. At 08:48am on 16 Dec 2008, kickedoutof chatroomsoonestchamp2006 wrote:

    I've tried for some time to get this information so thanks!
    I notice that the graph goes back to 1967 - two years after the abolition of the death penalty for murder. I wanted to compare changes before and after 1965.
    Only a few years ago it would have been possible for me to argue that the abolition started the current obsession with the rights of murderers and other criminals at the expense of victims. Nowadays this is not politically correct and I suspect the absence of information is no coincidence.
    Maybe someone can prove me wrong by supplying the information I want (of course the increases may be related to other factors).
    I also agree with Cping500 about 'petrolhead juries,' etc. However the rate of death due to road traffic accidents is said to be falling.

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  • 16. At 09:02am on 16 Dec 2008, willsmac wrote:

    There are indeed many weaknesses in these numbers, as noted above; particularly the definitional problems and the failure to correct for population size. I doubt that these numbers would pass the goverment's 'statistics czar'! Not up to your usual standard I fear - journalists as much as politicians need exciting/horrifying numbers to show and select accordingly.

    All the same the more profound issue is how rare murder is as a cause of death, hence the need to bunch up years to get even half-way decent numbers. If we want to do some good addressing suicide or accident would be much more sensible.

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  • 17. At 10:18am on 16 Dec 2008, Jonester76 wrote:

    One thing we all seem oblivious to is that advances in medicine (trauma treatment, speed and availability of ambulances) have greatly reduced the number of people who would otherwise have died of their wounds and thus added to the murder rate.

    If we still had 1960's medicine then I'd wager we'd be looking at 3-4 times the murder rate of that era.

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  • 18. At 1:29pm on 16 Dec 2008, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    beemoh u forgot benefit claimants they have to be partly responsible, bloody single mothers...

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  • 19. At 1:36pm on 16 Dec 2008, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    the war on terror, the war on teens, war on benefit claimants,war on drugs, war on war, war on peace, what about war on cars? since they kill more than most, maybe except war!

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  • 20. At 3:11pm on 16 Dec 2008, Sloppy Joe wrote:

    This is a good start, but the picture is misleading on a couple of key fronts:

    1. in world comparisons, Britain is not a high murder county but relatively safe. As others have said, equating numbers to land mass is deeply misleading. The USA has always had a much higher murder rate, due to the high availability of guns - but then it has lower rates of property crime on average.

    2. Again, stopping at 2001 is daft. We've seen falling murder rates since then in this country, and for enough years to believe this is a definite good, not a statistical blip. If the rise is mainly amongst young men, it would be interesting to ask why the fall.

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  • 21. At 3:36pm on 16 Dec 2008, petoskystone wrote:

    Not only is the article interesting, but so are the comments submitted. The vast majority being so well thought out. I espcially like Midland 20's comment. Being on the east coast of the US., i would just like to add that Britain still seems a lot safer, as pertains to physical crimes, than my area of Conneticut (greater New Haven). I would be interested in reading how people/groups could use stats such as those provided for preventive purposes. Such as, how to lower death rates in/by cars.

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  • 22. At 3:38pm on 16 Dec 2008, Mel0dymaker wrote:


    modernGladey - Are these real statistics or journalist statistics?

    What a question! hahaha I repeat, what a question!
    The policing in this country has improved vastly since even 20 years ago. The amount of abuse and homicide actually reported and documented around the time of the 70's (They got the Yorkshire ripper because of false plates and he asked to go for a wee and hid his hammer before he got to the station. Only when it turned out he was a suspect did they go back to where he urinated and sure enough, found his hammer) let alone the victorian era statistics (First Ripper, they washed the blood away as it was used to write an obscenity) will be miniscule compared to today. Now think about the child abuse that will never ever of been heard of. Or domestically, the wives.

    Also think about the population increase since victorian times. Statistics are never "real" in the first place. But rather than bemoan the scaremongering stats by Mark and his pals. I would like to argue the opposite side despite my own personal concerns over the matter.

    To start with 2 - 3 people (out of 80million odd) a day is not many and is probably too little. However if you owe someone 0000s of £ for drug dealing then you can't deny that you didn't know the risks.

    I think the bigger worry comes back to human right issues. The youth are probably equally violent, maybe a touch more than their fathers were. It's just that when their fathers did something wrong they got beaten. People used to fear the police and community peers. I am not saying police brutality works, or any kind of corporal punishment but the people who should be responsible for keeping the youth from going too mad are not playing on the same pitch as the youth. The fact they know violence can't be used on them is just another advantage to them.

    Examples I don't even need to look up are; the father that hit his daughter and nearly lost or did lose a part his career over it. Now I am pretty sure that she was drinking and being violent. If he hadn't hit her (I doubt he punched her full whack) Who's to say 5 years from now, drunk and drug fuelled she could be killing your sons daughters brothers ect. Maybe not in a street attack but maybe in her car. Either way it is responsibility and unfortunately for him they both learnt a tough lesson. But she regretted it and learnt her lesson.

    What about the man which helped a young woman refilling her car at a petrol station who was getting mugged by a youth. Albeit he broke the muggers jaw, but what if the mugger had a knife. Thats armed robbery... He got taken to court and nearly found himself behind bars.

    How can the public feel safe if they are not aloud to protect each other. That is how a community works. Surveys and stats show that people are looking to go and challenge the youth in some kind of vigilante movement. This is wrong as people should be vigilante anyway. My friend has been attacked in a city centre on a saturday at 2PM, peak hours some would say. 6 on 1 and no-one from the public helped him. He went in to a shop only to be thrown out because he was covered in blood. The person to finally come to his aid was 56 year old man. Now that says enough about our society and community I feel.

    Maybe (Well I have lol) I have rambled and not talked about murder. But no one can seriously say murder is the issue here. The murder of Gary Newlove could almost be called an accident. As with many of the street attacks and stabbings. There will be a minority within the violent minority that actually want to kill, more who want to maim and the rest for fun. They all tend to be too stupid to know respect. However they understand violence. I don't know the answers but I do know that if I see a pensioner getting robbed by a 15 year old that I do not have any rights to go and show them my fists. How can you apprehend someone with no violence. The teens need less protecting especially the older ones. Take away the asbo medals we so like to reward them with and stop criminalising them at every available option. They are teens after all. They are not as responsible as adults and should make some mistakes.


    Anyway I have re-read my "essay" lol and it reads badly, but it brings up far more points than the main blog article which is just a great lesson on how to write about a made up cause and how to create statistics for your own given cause. Bad blog subject, usually better. Bring back the drugs debate.

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  • 23. At 4:21pm on 16 Dec 2008, SheffTim wrote:

    Mark should have made it clearer that his map is just of victims of murder and manslaughter in the 10 to19 age group in the UK since 1 Jan 2008.
    (e.g. comment one. Shipman died in 2004, his victims were elderly.)

    I think that more should be to done to identify gang related violence.
    As gangs are tribal and as tribal violence since the start of civilization has been dominated by men its no surprise to find in cases (for this age range) that result in death, both victims and perpetrators tend to be male. Gang membership has always attracted younger males.

    Its also been (recently) revealed that more than three children a week, a total of 210, died in England and Wales as a result of abuse between April 2007 and August 2008.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/baby-p/3703059/Three-children-die-from-abuse-every-week-Ofsted-chief-Christine-Gilbert-reveals.html

    To respond to #12 who seems to think that violence against women by men is a myth.

    Over 144,000 defendants were prosecuted for violence against women offences in the two years ending in March 2008. Almost 85 per cent of violence against women crimes are domestic violence; 5 per cent are rape and 11 per cent sexual offences. Ninety four percent of defendants were men in 2007-08.
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/181_08.html

    Every minute the Police receive a call from the public because of domestic violence.
    It kills two women every week (104 per year) and 30 men each year.
    http://www.thelegalweek.merseyblogs.co.uk/2007/11/england_loses_victims_of_domes.html

    The only recent figures (2007 to 2008) I managed to obtain (from a quick Google) where domestic abuse figures are separated by gender are from Scotland where they find the percentage of men being subject to violence by a female partner is slowly increasing, but is still a minority compared to violence by men towards women. (Violence by men towards women, 43,490. Violence by women towards men, 6,156. In percentage terms that’s 88% vs 12%)
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article5233923.ece

    Up to 17,000 women in Britain are being subjected to `honour` related violence. 12 `honour` killings take place around Britain each year.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/a-question-of-honour-police-say-17000-women-are-victims-every-year-780522.html

    If you look at overall levels of violence perpetrated against each sex I’d say that women suffer more violence from the hands of men then men suffer from the hands of women; or men suffer at the hands of other men.

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  • 24. At 4:42pm on 16 Dec 2008, Mel0dymaker wrote:

    If you look at overall levels of violence perpetrated against each sex I?d say that women suffer more violence from the hands of men then men suffer from the hands of women; or men suffer at the hands of other men.

    Agreed but this is changing. Look at the woman in york who poisoned her husband to a stage where he was immensely disabled. Their are stats to show women are becoming more domestically violent to men and men do not go to the police as they would look fools. In fact the law makes it easier for women to get away with it as aggravated murder is treated as a lesser with years of abuse behind the reasoning of it(rather than pre meditated murder). Besides it may not be murder but men suffer from women just as much as women suffer from men. Stupid argument really but the biggest killer in men under 50 ( I think) is suicide. Why do you think that is... Admitedley not every case will be a woman leaving a man. But I wonder what percentage of them are because of that reason.

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  • 25. At 6:12pm on 16 Dec 2008, SheffTim wrote:

    `Besides it may not be murder but men suffer from women just as much as women suffer from men.` #24

    If you mean reported violence, no it doesn`t, see the figures in my post above. The poiseners case you cite is meaningless, there were women poiseners back in Victorian times. I think the biggest killer of young men is currently road traffic accidents.

    `Since the 1990s, rates of suicide in young men have declined steadily and by 2005 they were at their lowest level for almost 30 years.`
    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2008/5825.html
    http://www.mind.org.uk/Information/Factsheets/Statistics/Statistics+2.htm

    I agree, males are much more likely to attempt suicide, not least because women are more likely to seek help than men.
    But, if recession bites and unemployment rates rise I`d expect to see that figure rise. Male suicide is greatest at times of high unemployment, male self esteem is often tied to status.

    `but the biggest killer in men under 50 ( I think) is suicide. Why do you think that is... Admitedley not every case will be a woman leaving `a man. But I wonder what percentage of them are because of that reason.`

    Or how many because they can`t get a partner and feel unloved or unlovable?
    Or are being bullied or from 101 other issues.

    If you have a broken heart and you have difficulty getting over it then go and talk to your doctor about getting councelling; or join Yahoo Answers (Families and relationships) and ask the YA community their opinions on all this. It can help :-)
    http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/

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  • 26. At 7:18pm on 16 Dec 2008, dom_hyde wrote:

    @ #7. At 8:46pm on 15 Dec 2008, The Midland 20 wrote:

    "There was 1 murder a day in 1967.

    "There are 2 a day in 2008.

    "In the meantime the population has almost doubled, overcrowding is rife and life is much much more stressful.

    "So the proper conclusion is not that Britain is more violent but that - amazingly - Britain is NO MORE VIOLENT now than it was then."

    The population of Britain was 51 million in 1971 and is now nearly 61 million.

    This represents an increase of a sixth, so if the murder rate had truly remained proportionate, it too would have increased by only a sixth (or 17 percent), to 1.17 murders a day.

    Clearly, when you do the math, you will see a very real increase in the murder rate per capita in the UK.

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  • 27. At 10:21am on 17 Dec 2008, lochraven wrote:

    It is so typical of so many British to discount any news that shows them as being less than perfect. Many of your first reactions is to try to gain some comfort in comparing yourselves to other countries that have higher rates of murders, thus effectively hiding your heads in the sand. How bad does it have to get before you become concerned? How many murders does it take before you wake up?

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  • 28. At 2:31pm on 17 Dec 2008, commonsenseeconomics wrote:

    I agree with 27.

    Btw, very interesting article.

    But I do ask a similar question to some of the earlier ones, where you say the murder rate has effectively doubled, is this taking into account the vast increase in population figures? Also, are there figures on the breakdown of the racial/ethnicity numbers for the murder victims and murderers?

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  • 29. At 09:24am on 18 Dec 2008, rob wrote:

    The world map will be inaccurate because of political turmoil, dicatorships, military regimes etc. However, the picture is simple, lack of money breeds crime. Or as my Mum used to say, "when poverty comes through the door, Love flies out the window". One wonders, with all due respect to the various countries and benificiaries, if EEC and individual states had not given-donated, loaned interest free etc, the zillions of dollars/pounds/francs whatever, and used this for better education, massively improved facilities for the children up to the age of 18 for FREE (as it is here in Russia), what these numbers would then show. Because I will never ever believe that it is entirely the governments or the child's fault or the parents fault. It is ALL their fault. No good pointing fingers as each is equally to blame. Charity begins at home, as does everything else, and it is up to the administrations globally to get their act togather and stop getting brownie points for sending aid to corrupt countries rather than spending it on cleaning your own house.

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  • 30. At 10:26am on 19 Dec 2008, Cactus12 wrote:

    It's interesting that many of us need statistics to back up what is plain to see all around us (which is normal, who wants to blindly believe something written in an article) BUT when somebody takes the time and effort to collect this data in a sincere way it is often rejected!

    If life is no more dangerous today than even 10 years ago...

    Why do so many people today have alarms on their houses, cars, businesses etc?

    Why do so many fear for their own and children's safety?

    Why do we now open papers, news websites etc and there are more murders/homicides than ever before (surely if there was more good news it would be in there too!)?

    From some of these comments is it maybe that for some the reality is too horrific sometimes to deal with and that it is easier to try to ignore it or to play on words eg difference between murder/homicide. Or to say that the statistics are manipulated.

    We need to have proof that there is hope for a better society and that we are guaranteed a better future rather than ignore what is plainly a disintegrating society. Not just in Britain but all over the world it is the same story.

    In one area where I used to live there was a murder every day but they were very rarely mentioned in the news or in the paper, surely because it was just too much. This was 10 years ago - how is it now??

    Over the last month in the UK so much has been spoken about abuse of children and the death of babies, it was a huge shock because so many people didn't say anything beforehand - how many more cases are there of all ages that are never reported???

    Thank you for writing this article and to those who collected the data. Just these things had been on my mind over the last few days.

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  • 31. At 3:08pm on 19 Dec 2008, a_bit_of_crumpet wrote:

    Surely the world map represents absolute numbers of homicides, not rates? I very much doubt that India has among the highest homcide rates in the world, for example.

    Crime and violence are highly correlated with income inequality rather than wealth. Britain's poor are now much more wealthy than they were in the 1960s, but income inequality has increased. Some of the countries with the highest homicide rates are the most inequitus - Brazil, South Africa' while Scandinavian counties and Japan have low income inequality and crime rates.

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  • 32. At 9:47pm on 19 Dec 2008, NutitanicPassenger wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 33. At 11:50am on 20 Dec 2008, RobertCuk wrote:

    I note it is claimed ''the UK is seen as rather bloated compared to Europe''

    As had been said in othe posts, it depends what figures are used and what those figures represent.

    There was a spike in the UK to account for the 200+ Shipman (murder is recorded on upon a conviction)

    These are comparisons per 100,000 at 2004
    UK 2.03
    Spain 3.35
    Sweden
    USA 5.7
    Switzerland 2.94
    Finland 2.75
    England 1.37
    France 1.64
    Belgium 1.50
    Ireland 1.80
    Scotland 2.56

    These figures are published by the United Nations - make of them what you will; but your claim about our country being bolated needs a re-think. Especially if you take England alone.

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  • 34. At 12:28pm on 20 Dec 2008, RobertCuk wrote:

    also: I think No: 32 has a very good point! The evidence speaks for itself.


    ps: missed from my point above sorry

    Sweden 2.39
    Europe average? - 5.4!!

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  • 35. At 2:18pm on 20 Dec 2008, stalisman wrote:

    #32 may be making a racist statement which is a cheap way of distorting the truth.

    I do not know if he means to consider all Black deaths as being of foreign origin or not, but it could be read that way.

    Apart from that, the current sequence of deaths are certainly based in a culture that did not exist in victorion times, and ar ehence a new and modern phenomenum.

    The fact that the culture within which this crisis occures is poverty stricken and poorly educated ( a consequence of poverty) is perhaps the most salient factor to be observed.

    Certainly if one wishes to 'fix' this problem.

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  • 36. At 9:00pm on 20 Dec 2008, NutitanicPassenger wrote:

    #35 ....My remark included 'all' people of foreign origin and is probably statistically correct....certainly not a distortion of the truth.



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  • 37. At 9:19pm on 20 Dec 2008, NutitanicPassenger wrote:

    #35 Perhaps it would be better for me to say that the amount of British born whites murdering 'each other' is probably almost identical to what it was even as far back as in Victorian times and in that sense nothing has been changed.

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  • 38. At 11:18pm on 21 Dec 2008, RobertCuk wrote:

    No: 32 - I honestly did not read your comments as racist at all. I dont think its racist to mention foreign people or people of foreign origin for doing certain things.

    It is a certain foreign culture that has 'mercy killings' for instance - it is not racist to say that - surely.

    Other foreign people build amazing cars (the Germans) these are simply statements of fact, that I think you were eluding to.

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  • 39. At 00:20am on 22 Dec 2008, StevieK99 wrote:

    From no33.


    "These are comparisons per 100,000 at 2004
    UK 2.03
    Spain 3.35
    USA 5.7
    Switzerland 2.94
    Finland 2.75
    England 1.37
    etc

    These figures are published by the United Nations - make of them what you will; but your claim about our country being bolated needs a re-think. Especially if you take England alone."


    -Although I agree that the UK has a relatively low 'murder' rate compared to many countries in the West and elsewhere, I'm not certain if we're comparing apples with apples. It seems to me virtually impossible in the UK to be found guilty of murder (unless it's a very high profile media case). Just the other day, a man was convicted of manslaughter after cutting through another man with a samurai sword. It is this that is so mind-boggingly infuriating in the UK - that if in a fit of rage after suffering years of abuse, you may finally snap, punch someone and they fall over and die as they bang their head on the floor is considered the same as deliberately cutting people up with swords. Surely, if you use a blade, it should always be murder, end of! - hey, it may even help reduce the number of kids walking around carrying knives.
    I think we should have clearly defined rules and degress of murder set down in law preferably decided by elected officials rather than unelected judges who seem to vary their decisions depending on thier own whims (and political bias).

    On the other side of the same coin, just last week, the murderer of the young lad in Croxteth, Liverpool was given a long sentance for murder. Fair enough, but I cannot understand the logic as it is acknowledged that the poor boy was shot in the crossfire and not deliberately targeted - so surely, if all these other cases I read about are to be judeged the same as this one, then Rhys's killers should have only got manslaughter? (not my opinion as I would personally hang these people but I'm just trying to highlight the contradictions). It seems to me that the media decides whether something is murder or not - ie, if it's high profile, it's murder - if it's one of the other 99% of cases, then it is only manslaughter. This is especially true when it is a boy that is killed - whereas the father who was stabbed via the samurai sword was middle aged and so I guess, the courts are suggesting, his life is less important in someway....

    Incidentally, many people are on here asking if this doubling in the murder rate since 1967 is just down to population growth but this is clearly taken account of in figure 2 - the right-hand scale says "rate per million people (line)" It has gone up from less than 8 to 16. The fact, it is a 'rate per million' means just that - also, the fact that there has been a steady growth year on year with little fluctuaton suggests to me it is a real trend due to some very real changes in society...
    Interestingly, contrary to popular misconception, Mrs Thatcher did not start this trend but it started in the 1960's (earlier perhaps if we can see a more long-term chart) and has actually accelerated since 1997.

    So people, I agree UK is relatively safe (esp compared to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Colombia who murder rates are 50+ times worse than the USA and 200 times worse than UK) but we are getting worse.

    In the World map, it's interesting that the very large country Saudi Arabia is (like other gulf states such as Qatar) virtually invisible due to both those countries being no 1 and 2 in the World for lowest murder rates. It's striking that they have the death penalty still and going back to the earlier chart, so did Britain per 1967.....
    Not to say, I'm in favour of the death penalty but clearly it did /does work as a deterrant - but if killing someone with a knife or gun was taken seriously in this country and people automatically got a minimum 75 year life sentence with no chance of parole, I think it may help.....just my view..



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  • 40. At 09:18am on 22 Dec 2008, RobertCuk wrote:

    As I understand it, its not what weapon or cause of the death, 'Murder' is carried out with intent.

    Manslaughter is the verdict where 'rage' (or accident) is the driving factor that lead to a death, but there was no intent. To me the distinction seem sensible.

    Perhaps we really mean 'homicide' which I inderstand encapsulates both these and other 'killings'. Again, however, international comparisons can be fraught, but we have to draw the line somewhere - or we would never get any figures for anything.

    I am happy to use the United Nations figures and definitions, which are actually for 2007 in my postings, not 2004 as I earlier suggested.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_homicide_rate

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  • 41. At 11:03pm on 22 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Mark:
    An great lesson on the issue of murder in the United Kingdom....I also, would say that it is a learning lesson, to get some information on this type of information.

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  • 42. At 4:48pm on 23 Dec 2008, Afallach wrote:

    The murder rate has doubled since the abolition of Capital Punishment yet the "bleeding heart" liberals will tell us it is not a deterrent.

    I would also be interested to know, what percentage of those murders have been committed by immigrants and descendants of recent immigrants.

    Importing other cultures has not necessarily led to all the wonderful benefits we are brainwashed into believing - of course, I realise that sort of information ist strictly verboden.

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  • 43. At 11:06am on 26 Jan 2009, Footy_Head wrote:

    Its becuase money was more important to the goverment than our culture. I hate profit making. it costs us our culture.

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  • 44. At 11:16am on 26 Jan 2009, Andy wrote:

    Crime begets crime. I wonder just what percentage of those who carry knives do so not for the intent of using it but as protection for fear of becoming a victim themselves.
    Capital punishment IS a deterent. Simply disposing of the 'top ten' most hated murderers would, I suspect, cut the very act of murder by 50%.
    But justice isn't going to happen in reality is it? .... and with that message what incentive not to carry on carrying one's knive perhaps?

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