Crime in London, as in various cities, is very hard to measure. Police figures generally understate crime substantially and can be extremely misleading. Accordingly, recorded crime statistics need to be treated with great caution and have sometimes been shown to show opposite trends to victim surveys or to violence as measured by hospital intake.[1] However, police figures are usually the only available way to gauge local crime. Amidst a growing trend including a 40% growth since 2014, some newspapers reported murders in London exceeded those in New York (a city with the same population) for the first time in February 2018.[2] However a number of commentators have suggested that such a comparison of a snapshot of one month in isolation gives undue weight to the reality of the situation. Latest figures suggest that New York recorded 57 murders in January through to March 2018 whereas London recorded 45.[3] Further using annual statistics for 2017, New York has a significantly higher homicide rate than London, with New York recording 3.4 homicides per 100,000 people whereas London recorded 1.2.[4] In addition, the murder rate in 2017 is still well below the peak in 2003.[5] Greater London is served by three police forces; the Metropolitan Police which is responsible for policing the vast majority of the capital and is geographically divided into 32 Borough Operational Command Units, the City of London Police which is responsible for The Square Mile of the City of London, and the British Transport Police which polices the rail network and London Underground. A fourth police force in London, the Ministry of Defence Police, do not generally become involved with policing the general public. Within the Home Office crime statistic publications Greater London is referred to as the London Region. Crime rates vary widely by area: several have problems with crime, while many others are very safe.

The City of London and the 32 London boroughs

City of London City of Westminster Kensington and Chelsea Hammersmith and Fulham Wandsworth Lambeth Southwark Tower Hamlets Hackney Islington Camden Brent Ealing Hounslow Richmond Kingston Merton

Sutton Croydon Bromley Lewisham Greenwich Bexley Havering Barking and Dagenham Redbridge Newham Waltham Forest Haringey Enfield Barnet Harrow Hillingdon


1 Crime statistics

1.1 Counting rules

2 Violent crime

2.1 Murder 2.2 Moped crime 2.3 Assault with injury 2.4 Gun and knife crime 2.5 Robbery

3 Race and crime 4 Bicycle thefts 5 Metropolitan force comparisons 6 See also 7 Footnotes 8 References 9 Further information 10 External links

Crime statistics[edit] Until the late 1990s crime figures for varying crime types were not released to the general public at individual police force level. The annual publication 'Crime in England & Wales' produced by the Home Office began to break the figures down to a smaller area in 1996.[6] Crime figures in England & Wales during the late 1990s and early 2000s were often misinterpreted in the media and scrutinised because of frequent changes in the way crimes were counted and recorded that lead to rises in the crime category 'Violence Against the Person'.[7] Commenting on figures from 1 April 1998 onwards, the then-Home Secretary Jack Straw said "changes in the way crime statistics are compiled are in line with recommendations by senior police officers. They are intended to give a more accurate picture of the level of offences".[8] The largest increases were recorded in the "Violence Against the Person" category owing to the inclusion of common assault figures to accompany other offence types within this category that include assault occasioning actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm, harassment, murder, possession of offensive weapons and a selection of other low volume violent crimes grouped together by the Metropolitan Police as 'other violence'. The change in counting rules, and the significant impact it had on violence against the person figures, was often misconstrued by the media as real increases. The rises in violence resulting from this were highly publicised on an annual basis.[9][10][11][12][13] Today crime figures are made available nationally at Local Authority[14] and Ward level.[15] The Metropolitan Police have made detailed crime figures, broken down by category at borough and ward level, available on their website since 2000.[16] Many websites and applications took advantage of this data to build crime maps of London's neighbourhoods. Counting rules[edit] A detailed breakdown of the way crimes are counted are available from the Home Office website.[17] Recorded crime increased in England and Wales during most of the 1980s, reaching a peak in 1992, and then fell each year until 1998/99 when the changes in the Counting Rules resulted in an increase in recorded offences. This was followed by the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS)[18] in April 2002 which led to a rise in recording in 2002/03 and 2003/04, as the rules bedded-in within forces. Crime figures were originally collected to cover a calendar year, however this changed from 1998 when crime statistics began to be collated and grouped by financial year. Violent crime[edit] Offences categorised as "violent crime" by the Home Office are violence against the person,[7] including robbery and sexual offences. Sometimes includes kidnapping. Murder[edit] Since 1990 there has been an average of 171 murders committed each year across the 32 BOCUs in London. During this period the lowest annual figure was 89 in 2012 and the highest being 204 in the financial year 2003/04. Between 2003/04 and 2008/09 the number of annual homicides decreased by 27% from 204 to 148.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30] After further reductions, with a low of 83 in 2014, it would appear that the number of recorded homicides in the London region has risen, with 130 recorded in the year ending September 2017, although this will include the combined nine deaths in the London bridge and Finsbury Park terror attacks.[31]

Crime rate 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Homicide total 184 184 175 160 169 167 139 190 159 146 171 190 189 204 182 168 162 156 148 136 123 121 89 86 83 118 110 130

Homicide rate 2.5 2.5 2.3 2.1 2.3 2.2 1.9 2.5 2.1 1.9 2.3 2.5 2.5 2.7 2.4 2.2 2.2 2.1 2.0 1.9 1.5 1.5 1.1

London homicides (1990–2017)

The distribution of homicide offences in London can vary significantly by borough. Between 2000 and 2015 there were 2,326 offences committed in London. The murder rate increased 25.5% in between 2014 and 2015.[32]

Rank Borough Number of homicides 2000 to 2012

1 Lambeth 7002154000000000000♠154

2 Southwark 7002124000000000000♠124

3 Newham 7002122000000000000♠122

4 Hackney 7002114000000000000♠114

5 Brent 7001990000000000000♠99

6 Haringey 7001970000000000000♠97

7 Croydon 7001870000000000000♠87

8 Camden 7001850000000000000♠85

9 Ealing 7001840000000000000♠84

10 Lewisham 7001830000000000000♠83

11 Tower Hamlets 7001830000000000000♠83

12 Waltham Forest 7001730000000000000♠73

13 Greenwich 7001710000000000000♠71

14 Islington 7001700000000000000♠70

15 Enfield 7001660000000000000♠66

16 Westminster 7001630000000000000♠63

17 Wandsworth 7001620000000000000♠62

18 Hillingdon 7001610000000000000♠61

19 Barnet 7001480000000000000♠48

20 Hammersmith and Fulham 7001480000000000000♠48

21 Hounslow 7001420000000000000♠42

22 Barking & Dagenham 7001420000000000000♠42

23 Bromley 7001380000000000000♠38

24 Redbridge 7001380000000000000♠38

25 Bexley 7001300000000000000♠30

26 Havering 7001280000000000000♠28

27 Merton 7001260000000000000♠26

28 Sutton 7001250000000000000♠25

29 Harrow 7001240000000000000♠24

30 Kensington & Chelsea 7001230000000000000♠23

31 Kingston upon Thames 7001170000000000000♠17

32 Richmond upon Thames 7001140000000000000♠14

Moped crime[edit] Main article: Moped crime in London A noted trend since 2014 is robberies and assaults committed by individuals riding mopeds.[33] Assault with injury[edit] Assault with injury, currently comprising assault occasioning actual bodily harm and grievous bodily harm by the Metropolitan Police, accounts for on average 40% of all violence against the person offences within the Metropolitan Police area and 45% of all violence against the person nationally.[34] In England and Wales, 'assault without injury' and harassment account for a further 38% of crimes recorded within the violence against the person category. In 2008–09, there 70,962 assault with injury offences in London with a rate of 9.5 per 1,000 residents.[35] This was slightly higher than the total rate for England and Wales, which was 7.0 per 1,000 residents.[36]

British Crime Survey Violence Rates (1981–2009)[21][37]

Crime rate 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09

ABH and GBH rate per 1,000 London 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.8 9.4 11.2 10.4 9.5 9.5

ABH and GBH rate per 1,000 England & Wales 3.6 3.8 6.2 7.6 8.6 9.0 8.4 7.5 7.0

Following the changes introduced by the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) in 2002, the way assaults were categorised was dependent on injury, leading to a significant jump in combined ABH and GBH figures nationally in 2002–03. Prior to NCRS, minor injuries were counted as common assault, while after NCRS any assault with injury would be categorised as ABH. Looking at figures over time is of limited value as figures prior to 2002–03 are not comparable with the way certain violent crimes have been recorded since then. These changes were not reflected in the Metropolitan Police performance figures until 2004/05, when the rate almost doubled to 9.4 per 1,000 residents compared to 5.8 the previous year. In 2005–06, the rate of recorded ABH and GBH peaked both nationally and within the Metropolitan Police force area according to recorded statistics. The British Crime Survey or BCS is a systematic victim study, currently carried out by BMRB Limited on behalf of the Home Office. The BCS seeks to measure the amount of crime in England and Wales by asking around 50,000 people aged 16 and over, living in private households, about the crimes they have experienced in the last year. The survey is comparable to the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted in the United States. The Home Office estimated that just 37% of violence with injury offences were reported to and recorded by police. An advantage of the BCS is that it has not been affected by the changes in counting rules and the way crime is categorised because it is survey-based. This makes it possible to observe national trends in crime over time. Crime in England and Wales 2008/09,[38] shows BCS violence with injury to have peaked in 1995 and declined steadily since then. Between 1995 and 2008–09, the BCS estimates that violence with injury offences decreased 53.6% across England & Wales. Gun and knife crime[edit] Weapon-enabled crimes are recorded by the Metropolitan Police when a weapon is used to assist a crime, for example a gun being used as part of a robbery. Recorded gun- and knife-enabled offences in London account for about 2% of total recorded crime. The two London Boroughs with the highest rate of gun and knife crime are Southwark and Lambeth. Other London Boroughs with high gun and knife crime rates include Brent, Haringey, Hackney Waltham Forest and Hillingdon.[39][not in citation given] City of Westminster remains the borough with the highest violent crime rates per person, and has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country.[40] Gun-enabled crime figures are displayed on the Metropolitan Police website at borough level expressed as financial year to date comparisons[41] but they are seldom made available for historical comparisons. Figures are available for calendar years 2000 to 2007[42] as shown in the table below.[41][43]

Crime rate 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Gun-enabled crime 2961 3250 4005 4444 4025 3744 3881 3327 3459 2525 3295

Rate per 10,000 London 3.9 4.3 5.3 5.9 5.4 4.9 5.2 4.4 4.6 3.4 4.4

Since 2000 there has been consistent fluctuations in the number of gun-enabled crimes recorded by the Metropolitan Police which peaked in 2003 when there were 4,444 recorded offences. The lowest number of offences recorded was potentially in 2008 where there were just 1,980 gun-enabled crimes between December 2007 and November 2008, an unusually low figure in comparison to other years. Since then however gun-enabled crime has increased 67% across London with 3,309 offences being recorded in the 12 months to November 2009.

Crime rate 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008–09 2009–10

Knife-enabled crime[43] 10305 12985 12367 12301 10699 12345 12611

Rate per 10,000 London 13.7 17.3 16.5 16.4 14.3 16.4 16.8

Knife-enabled crime figures are available from 2003 to 2007 and more recently monthly knife crime summaries are provided on the Metropolitan Police website showing financial year to date figures.[44] Knife enabled offences increased from 2003 to 2004 and from then on saw annual reductions until 2007. It was not possible to retrieve statistics for 2008 and 2009. The Metropolitan Police a number of operations that concentrate on knife and gun crime. They include Operation Trident and Trafalgar which deal with fatal and non-fatal shootings across London, Operation Blunt which was initially launched across 12 boroughs in 2004 to tackle knife crime and subsequently rolled out across the forces 32 boroughs in 2005 after early successes.[45] Operation Blunt was re-launched as Operation Blunt II in 2008 with the aim of tackling serious youth violence.[46] In addition to this there is the Specialist Firearms Command formerly known as SO19. Robbery[edit]

London Robbery Offences (1996–2009)

Recording of robbery offences in England and Wales are sub-divided into Business Robbery (robbery of a business, e.g. a bank robbery) and Personal Robbery (taking an individuals personal belongings with force/threat).[47] Annually business robbery offences in London account for on average 10% of total robbery offences.

Crime Rate 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010-11

London Robbery Offences[48][49][50][51] 32867 28442 26330 32924 40992 53547 42496 40640 39033 45311 45771 37000 32555 33463 35857

Rate per 1,000 London 4.4 3.8 3.5 4.4 5.5 7.1 5.7 5.4 5.2 6.0 6.1 4.9 4.3 4.5 4.4

Robbery offending across London fell almost 20% between 1996 and 1998 from 32,867 to 26,330 offences. Following changes in counting rules of crimes and the later introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard offences of robbery rose both nationally and within London.[52] In London offences increased by 25% in 1999 compared with 1998. There was a 25% increase between 1999 and 2000/01 and a further 30% increase between 2000/01 and 2001/02 when the robbery rate in London peaked to 7.1 offences per 1,000 population. In March 2002 the government launched the 'Street Crime Initiative' with the aim of reducing robbery in the most affected police forces, including the Metropolitan Police. Nationally the 'Street Crime Initiative' achieved a reduction in robbery of 32% by March 2005.[53] In London during the same period robbery reduced by 27% from 53,547 in 2001/02 to 39,033 in 2004/05. After the initiative had finished robbery offences increased and stayed at a rate of around 6.0 per 1,000 for the next two financial years, however, there has now been a steady annual decline in robbery rates across London since 2006/07. The increases in robbery were largely attributed to the rise in youth on youth robberies across London with particular focus around schools and transport interchanges and increased usage and ownership of items such as mobile phones, one of the most commonly stolen items. The increases that followed the end of the street crime initiative were thought somewhat to be a result of the increased mobility of young people when the introduction of oyster cards to provide under-16s free travel on London's transport network was introduced.[54] Race and crime[edit] Further information: Race and crime in the United Kingdom In June 2010 The Sunday Telegraph, through a Freedom of Information Act request, obtained statistics on accusations of crime broken down by race from the Metropolitan Police Service.[n 1] The figures showed that the majority of males who were accused of violent crimes in 2009–10 were black. Of the recorded 18,091 such accusations against males, 54 percent accused of street crimes were black; for robbery, 59 percent; and for gun crimes, 67 percent. Between April 2005 and January 2006, figures from the Metropolitan Police Service showed that black people accounted for 46 percent of car-crime arrests generated by automatic number plate recognition cameras.[56] Street crimes include muggings, assault with intent to rob, and snatching property. Black males accounted for 29 percent of the male victims of gun crime and 24 percent of the male victims of knife crime. Similar statistics were recorded for females. On knife crime, 45 percent of suspected female perpetrators were black; for gun crime, 58 percent; and for robberies, 52 percent. [55][57] Operation Trident was set up in March 1998 by the Metropolitan Police to investigate gun crime in London's black community after black-on-black shootings in Lambeth and Brent.[58] Bicycle thefts[edit] In 2014, the number of bicycles reported stolen to the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police forces came to 17,809.[59] However the true number of bicycle thefts may be much larger as many victims do not report it to the police. According to the British Crime Survey and Transport for London only one in four victims of bicycle thefts actually report the crime.[60] Metropolitan force comparisons[edit] Below are crime rate comparisons for London and the metropolitan districts of England in 2007/08 financial year.[61][62]

Offences (per 1,000 of population, except homicides and firearm offences, per 100,000)

Police force Main city Homicides Firearms offences Violence against the person Sexual offences Robbery Burglary (residential) Theft of and from motor vehicles

Foo Foo 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Greater London London 1.1 45.3 23.2 1.2 4.9 8.0 16.0

Greater Manchester Manchester 1.9 44.6 19.3 1.2 2.9 8.3 16.7

West Midlands Birmingham 1.6 37.5 20.5 1.2 2.9 6.9 13.1

Merseyside Liverpool 2.3 29.5 15.4 0.7 1.2 6.2 10.7

South Yorkshire Sheffield 2.1 15.0 18.1 0.9 1.0 6.6 15.4

West Yorkshire Leeds 2.1 15.1 17.7 1.0 1.4 8.5 13.2

Northumbria Police (Tyne and Wear) Newcastle 2.1 5.6 13.9 0.8 0.6 3.6 8.1

England London 1.4 18.9 17.5 1.0 1.6 5.2 11.1

See also[edit]

Gangs in the United Kingdom Crime in the United Kingdom


^ The figures relate to those 'proceeded against', including those prosecuted in court, whether convicted or acquitted; those issued with a caution, warning or penalty notice; those the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to charge; and those whose crimes were 'taken into consideration' after a further offence.[55]


^ Crime, Nick Ross, Biteback, 2014 ^ Andrew Gilligan (1 April 2018). "London murder rate beats New York as stabbings surge". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 9 April 2018. London overtook New York in murders for the first time in modern history in February as the capital endured a dramatic surge in knife crime.  ^ "FactCheck: Is London really deadlier than New York?". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 2018-04-17.  ^ Casciani, Dominic (2018-04-04). "Reality Check: Has London's murder rate overtaken New York's?". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-04-17.  ^ ^ "Notifiable Offences England and Wales 1996" (PDF). Retrieved 13 December 2011.  ^ a b "Violence against the Person" (PDF). Retrieved 13 December 2011.  ^ "25/08/99 Counting System to Increase Crime Figures". BBC News. 25 August 1999. Retrieved 13 December 2011.  ^ "BBC 18/07/00 Violent Crime Figures Not Accurate". BBC News. 18 July 2000. Retrieved 13 December 2011.  ^ "BBC 19/07/01 Violent Crime on the rise". BBC News. 19 July 2001. 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Further information[edit]

Home Office Interactive Maps of Local Authority Crime Data Metropolitan Police Crime Mapping Data Tables Metropolitan Police Crime Mapping Site Metropolitan Police Current Crime Data By Borough

External links[edit] UK / London Crime Statistics and Crime Statistic Comparisons Government Office for London Data & Analytical Tools Give Life Domestic Violence Project Home Office Anti-Social Behaviour Action Website Home Office Crime Reduction Website Home Office Statistical Publications Archive Knife City – Carrying a knife. Its not a game London Against Gun and Knife Crime London Serious Youth Violence Board Metropolitan Police Operation Bumblebee Burglary Prevention Scheme Metropolitan Police Publication Scheme National Policing Improvement Agency Local Crime Mapping Operation Trident: Stop the Guns Youth Offending Servic