The UK Peace Index [PDF]
, a new publication from The Institute for Economics and Peace
(IEP), has produced a startling new headline: against public perceptions of crime
, both crime and homicide have fallen significantly. The fall over the last decade has resulted in the UK homicide rate now being roughly equivalent to that of the Western European average, and it is now at its lowest level since 1978.The last ONS data from 2010/11 [PDF]
suggest that even people who trust official statistics believe crime has gone up. 66% of them believed this was the case. Among those who distrust official statistics, 80% believe crime has gone up. However, among victims and non-victims of crimes alike, only a minority believe they live in an area where crime is above
the national average. Separate research by Cardiff University
suggests injuries from violent crime are down by 14% in 2012
in England and Wales.
Furthermore, the Peace Index researchers are at a loss to explain why violence is falling
- not just in the UK but elsewhere - and dismiss many of the existing theories.
For those that are interested, the IEP has now also produced its second US Peace Index
. The data there, too, show a sharp decline in violence. The US is more peaceful domestically now than at any other time over the last twenty years; since 1991 there has been a substantial and sustained reduction in direct violence across the US. The index showed that Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Minnesota were the most peaceful states - and that Florida, Nevada, Tennessee and Louisiana were the least peaceful - perhaps explaining the ouroboros nature of arguments about the (de)merits of gun control.
Lest one get too excited, the same organisation also produces a Global Peace Index
, which Iceland tops [PDF]
. The UK ranks 29th. The US ranks 88th.
Related: British Crime Survey for England and Wales
; ONS Crime Statistics
Previously: Punch line inside
(Global Peace Index, 2007).