Island savages – violence in the UK

England and Wales are not unusually murderous, but when it comes to non-deadly violence, the United Kingdom soars alarmingly ahead of the rest of the European Union, says the Economist.

For example:

  • Against a backdrop of generally falling crime, the figures for attacks by strangers remain stubbornly high.

  • Doctors say that their wards see more stabbing victims, and injuries from guns have almost trebled since 2001.

  • Those guns that are injuring more people are killing fewer, while the number of those stabbed to death remains stable.

    At the same time, homicide has been falling since 2003, says the Economist. So murder is not the problem, although it might suggest what is:

  • A study by King' s College London shows that people over the age of 35 are being murdered less frequently, but those under 17 are being murdered more often.

  • From 2000 to 2006, between 15 and 19 teenagers were killed in the capital each year.

  • In 2007, 26 teenagers were killed in London.

  • Only six months into this year, 19 have already died.

    This changing profile might explain why, overall, injuries are up and murder is down: serious violence is becoming an amateur pursuit, says the Economist.

    Source: Island Savages, The Economist, July 12, 2008.

    For text:

    For more on Crime:

    FMF Policy Bulletin/ 5 August 2008
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