Tuesday, August 13, 2013

UK Murder Rate Less Than US? I Don't Think So...

Turns out that the "official" figures released by the Home Office do not cover the vast majority of deaths of interest to the police in the UK.  In the USA, on the other hand, every death that is not readily related to natural causes is a homicide.  It's not an "apples to apples" comparison.

"As a result, murders that have not been solved are not included. If indications in the Telegraph are correct, that would substantially reduce the homicide rate in itself. Murders that have resulted in an arrest but no conviction are not counted. Convictions that have not been appealed are apparently not counted. And the number of minorities reported as murder victims is far below either the demographics or of reason.
If the media reports of a total of 4,760 “violent fatalities of interest to the police” from 1 January 2011 to 30 November 2012 are correct, the murder rate is 4.7 per 100,000 population, the same as our much more inclusive homicide rate, and substantially higher than the United States murder rate."

What is sad is that the mainstream media does not explain this, and about the only place you can find any information is in the alternative media, such as blogs like this one:

"Sorry about the long aside, back to murders. Remember that 657 number from the Home Office? The Coroners only called 229 of the cases they determined a cause of death on a homicide, and in 4400 cases they filed a "narrative verdict" describing the cause of death in a narrative manner without putting it in a category. If those 4400 cases are what we would normally call murders ... that would suggest that the correct number of "violent deaths of interest to the police" is on the order of 4700 for 2011, then the UK murder rate is 8.5 per 100,000 or about 177% of the US murder rate. Now, honestly, we don't know what conclusion as to cause the coroner would have reached if they weren't using  It's entirely possible that very few of them would have been classed as homicides. We don't know.  My point here isn't that the English death rates should be quoted from the highest available but rather, no matter which source I attempt to use, I can't actually get an apples to apples comparison.  The data simply isn't available."
"Note also that this is the MURDER rate, irrespective of the METHOD of the murder.  I utterly refuse to get into the discussion of 'gun violence.'  A death is a death."

So, next time someone tells you that the UK has less murders than the USA, ask them how they know. Chances are, they don't know, and they are parroting some drivel they heard on CNN (which is increasingly coming to be known as a news organization which does not check the facts).

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