British Vs US Murder And Violent Crime Numbers?

As I have posted several times, the many law enforcement agencies reported 12,996 murders to the FBI, for a rate of 4.2 per 100,000 population.

This is a raw count of the dead bodies of individuals who were killed as a result of “malice,” regardless of the victim’s age, or whether or not the killer had been arrested. In other words, the FBI count is a “full count of the number of murder victims.”

Murder in England is a different story. Quoting Chief Inspector Colin Greenwood’s exhaustive memorandum to the House of Commons on the history of gun controls in Great Britain:

35. Homicide statistics too vary widely. In some developing countries, the statistics are known to be far from complete. Figures for crimes labelled as homicide in various countries are simply not comparable. Since 1967, homicide figures for England and Wales have been adjusted to exclude any cases which do not result in conviction, or where the person is not prosecuted on grounds of self defence or otherwise.

To put Dr. and Chief Inspector Greenwood’s words in “American,” if no one is arrested, tried, and convicted, no murder took place. Since Dr. Greenwood wrote this memorandum, Great Britain’s definition of murder has been “upgraded” to exclude any cases in which the appeals process has not been exhausted. Since many convicted killers do not appeal, and appeals can take years, there is no reasonable way to determine what England’s homicide rate actually is.

I do have an internet search set up for “murder” from any English, Welsh, or Ulster newspaper report that contains the word “murder.” Apparently Great Britain, less Scotland, have around ten of what we would define as murders each day; which would put its murder rate at 6.5 per 100,000. Slightly higher than Western Europe, but substantially lower than Eastern Europe.

What about violent crime? You can look at the violent crimes reported to the FBI at this link, with our rate of 403.6 violent crimes per 100,000 population.

Unfortunately, the Home Office Crime Reports Dr. Greenwood refers to in the memorandum linked above seem to have been taken down. What we do have available are the results of the British Crime Survey, which found a grand total of 2,203,000 “violent incidents involving adults” for an adult violent crime rate of 4,155.6 per 100,000 population.(PDF)

The juvenile violent crime rate for 2010/2011 is on page 101 and subsequent pages of the PDF linked immediately above. It covers those from 10 through 15 (to the 16th birthday) in accordance with international custom, but it is listed in events per 10,000 instead of 100,000 population. Multiply the given numbers by 10 to obtain a number that you can compare with the United States and other countries. What is that number?

On page 105 of the British Crime Survey the stated incidence rate of crimes of violence against those in the 10 to 15 age group is 2,856 per 10,000 population; which equals 28,560 per 100,000. That gives a combined violent crime rate of 5,226* 32,715 per 100,000 population. Compared to the United States 403.6 per 100,000.

Needless to say, in common with Europe generally, England and Wales is not really a safe place to live.


*Second only to Venezuela among the countries of the world.


About Stranger

A collaborative effort, Extranos Alley is primarily concerned with providing up to date data on the relationships between privately woned firearms and crime, violence, and politics. The site is maintained by nine volunteers who have given up their identity that the work here may be considered without regard to the individual data. The contributors are a diverse group, ranging from a retired physicist to a board certified psychologist.
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