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UK violence 'startlingly low'

Rates of murder and violent crime have fallen more rapidly in the UK in the past decade than anywhere else in Western Europe, researchers say.

The UK Peace Index, from the Institute for Economics and Peace, found UK homicides per 100,000 people had fallen from 1.99 in 2003, to one in 2012.

The UK was more peaceful overall, it said, with the reasons for it varied.

The index found Broadland in Norfolk to be the most peaceful local council area but Lewisham, London, to be the least.

Steve Killelea, the founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace, told the Today programme's Evan Davis that when figures were announced initially researchers were "a little bit sceptical", but further examination confirmed the trend.

"It's really quite startling," he said.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 24 April 2013.

  • 24 Apr 2013