Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dealing with violent crime in the UK

There's been a couple of people bringing up the UK recently, on "beggars can be choosers" and "the left rudder" to be exact.
So I went looking: how well ARE they doing?

Their prisons could be doing better I suppose, as there's been a little row recently when a prison guard was found involved with a narcotics ring which fueled violence behind bars.
Oh well, you're bound to have at least one prison compromised right?

How's life outside of prison today then?
Without leaving the BBC's site, I could find two reports on violent crime:
A story about an 18 year old getting stabbed to death, and the tale of a senior citizen violently robbed by a gang of thugs ...
Now that's just today, feel free to click the "UK" label underneath this post to read other articles of violence in the UK, and about their failing legal system.

What about the bigger picture, how has the UK been doing as a whole?
At page 48 of the Violent Crime Overview, Homicide and Gun Crime 2004/2005, published by the Home office, we can clearly see that homicide has generally been on the increase since over half a century!
It had declined in 2005, but the use of guns was on the increase despite the gun bans and restrictions. This trend was maintained according to "Crime in England and Wales" (p71) It must be noted that these firearm offences aren't all shootings, there are simply much more punishable actions involving firearms these days.

The UK is not a peaceful place. Even with violent crime as a whole in decline, the amount of people killed or otherwise faced with violence is alarmingly high, and don't let anybody convice you otherwise unless they have the facts to back it up!


Marc McDonald said...

>>"The UK is not a peaceful place."

Maybe not. But there are something like 50 gun murders a year in Britain. There's that many gun murders in one typical day in America.
I don't have the figures handy, but America's rate per capita for all homicides is double what Britain's is.
Incidentally, gun rights supporters generally downplay the above info. Instead, they trot out all kinds of scary numbers on assaults, muggings, etc.
But if we limit the debate to murder, the U.S. is a vastly more dangerous place.
I'm not trying to trivialize assaults and muggings. But I myself would rather be mugged every day than murdered once.
BTW, I can tell you that as a reporter who worked the police beat for many years in the U.S. that MANY assaults and muggings (and even rapes) go unreported.

Michael Hawkins said...

I don't downplay that info, I'll be the first one to admit that the USA has a SERIOUS problem with violent crime, but pointing at a country that's doing worse doesn't make ones situation any better, now does it?

The UK has its own problems, and its own failed policies.
Gun control is one of those policies.

I'm also one of the few to admit that the recent steps taken to reduce knife crime might actually be working, check my general posts on the UK (accesible top right)