The Corner

Violent Britain

When it comes to the question of violent crime, the British are fairly smug. Why? Because, well, there’s less of it in Britain than in America. Bunch of cowboys over there, right?

Wrong. Per the Daily Mail:

Britain’s violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European union, it has been revealed.

Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa – widely considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries.

The Tories said Labour had presided over a decade of spiralling violence.

In the decade following the party’s election in 1997, the number of recorded violent attacks soared by 77 per cent to 1.158million – or more than two every minute.

According to the Mail, Britons suffer 1,158,957 violent crimes per year, which works out at 2,034 per 100,000 residents. By contrast the number in notoriously violent South Africa is 1,609 per 100,000.

The U.S., meanwhile, has a rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, which is lower than France’s, at 504; Finland’s, at 738; Sweden’s, at 1123; and Canada’s at 935.

As a result of both the different ways in which these statistics are collected and of varying definitions of “violent crime,” there will naturally be some discrepancies between countries. Enough to account for a 5:1 difference between Britain and the United States, though? I rather think not. As I observed last year when covering the London riots:

When I moved from England to New York, I was frequently advised to “be careful.” “Dodge the bullets,” said one particularly paranoid friend. I did not have the heart to say that I would likely be much safer in Gotham than the place I was leaving behind.

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