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. So were February and March 2018 just blips?
Possibly. While those two months may have been the first times in recent history that London had a higher homicide rate than New York, the year-on-year statistics are still firmly suggestive of the UK capital being the less murderous city.
There were 116 murders in London in 2017, fewer than half New York’s annual total of 290.
The disparity seems even more marked if you look slightly further back, albeit with the caveat that the way the Met presented its data for these years does not allow comparison of exactly the same 12-month time periods.
In the calendar year of 2016 there were 334 murders in New York. In the financial year 2016-17 (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017) there were 102 murders in London, suggesting – but not proving - that at that point the UK’s capital’s murder rate for any given 12-month period was less than a third of New York’s.
Similarly, New York had 352 murders in the calendar year 2015, while London’s Metropolitan Police recorded 109 homicides between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.
When reporting on The Sunday Times story, The Independent noted that London remains substantially the safer city overall. So what is going on with these murder rates?
One way of looking at this is to see it not so much as London getting massively more violent, but rather New York achieving an astonishing drop in its murder rate.
_________________________ **** ATTENTION! BAD POLITICIANS ARE ELECTED BY GOOD PEOPLE WHO DON'T VOTE! ****