Sunday, June 25, 2006
Labour’s failure on law and order was laid bare last night as it emerged 250 more people are being killed each year in brutal acts of violence than when Tony Blair came to power.
The devastating statistic has been compiled by academics who say it is final proof Britain has become a more dangerous place to live since 1997. It demolishes the Government’s repeated claim that violent crime is falling.
The research, by the respected Crime and Society Foundation, reveals there were a shocking 954 homicides last year - more than 18 every week.
That’s an increase since 1997 of 35%. The report will be made public next week.
UPDATE. The Observer’s Mary Riddell, earlier this month:
The liberal reflex to epidemics of murder and injury is to debunk hysteria and point to falling crime. This time, though, something is going on. Almost every criminologist believes that stranger-stabbing is increasing, despite a woeful lack of data. The British Crime Survey, which recorded almost 2.5 million violent assaults last year, does not include young people, the group most likely to go armed.
UPDATE II. And from May, the Guardian’s David Rose:
Among seasoned practitioners close to the top of the criminal justice system, I found a marked uneasiness at the official state of denial, and concern that the figures truly reveal a rising incidence of personal crime.
Among the most forthright were senior police officers. ‘Of course it’s real,’ said Terry Grange, Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys in Wales and the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) spokesman on ‘private crime’, which includes domestic violence and sex offences. ‘As far as wounding is concerned, there’s a much greater willingness to use weapons, and a much greater willingness to use violence all round.’
Some of the conviction statistics cited by Rose are stupefying.
UPDATE III. Ex-Labour councillor and academic Dr David Green:
The trouble with the British Crime Survey is that it only covers about half the crime recorded by the police. It misses out murder, rape, drug crime, fraud, all crimes against under-16s, and all commercial crime, including the biggest of all, shoplifting.
To sum up, we can say that crime is down from a peak in the mid-1990s and has now reached a plateau of about 10 times the rate in the 1950s, but violent crime is increasing steadily.
UPDATE IV. Barrister Rehman Chishti quits Labour:
I find it hard to respect a Government which has presided over a rise in gun crime, an increase in drug offences, and almost 600,000 more incidents of violent crime.
UPDATE V. Related claims from Gateway Pundit: “Despite the headlines yesterday, violent crime in the US remains below levels in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s and below that of Europe, Canada and Australia.”
UPDATE VI. Grim figures from Scotland:
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the number of young people in Scotland convicted of carrying knives has more than doubled in a decade.
Figures released by Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson show that in 1994-95, a total of 204 people under 18 were convicted of possessing a knife or other offensive weapon - but by 2004-05, the number had soared to 427.