Opinion

London Exceeds New York City Murder Rate – A First in Modern Times

Great Britain, long known to Americans as one giant gun-free zone, including most of its police officers (although this is slowly changing), has just achieved a dubious distinction: London has surpassed New York City’s murder rate for the first time in the modern era. The report came on April 1, 2018, so I wondered if it might be an April Fools Day joke. Then I thought, the subject isn’t the greatest fodder for humor and since no one has claimed credit, I think we’re safe to assume this unwanted milestone happened.

The Independent.co.uk is reporting the data that has propelled England’s largest city past America’s in murders. The two cities make for a natural comparison, both having populations of about 8.5 million people. Reportedly, London is still the safer of the two, but NYC’s murder rate has decreased by 87 percent or so since the 1990s, while London’s is rising. The historic city’s homicide rate has increased by almost 40 percent in the past three years alone.

British news reports suggest criminals have used both knives and firearms during this murderous crime wave, but the emphasis is clearly on knife crimes. A 36-year-old London woman, recently stabbed, was the 30th “fatal knife crime” in the city this year. An investigation is underway. The 29th stabbing death occurred only hours earlier with the death of a 23-year-old man in southeast London.

February and March 2018 tell the story: London experienced 15 homicides while 14 people were murdered in NYC during February. In March, London suffered 22 murder victims, and NYC reported 21 homicides. News reports indicate England and Wales are experiencing their greatest increase in knife murders since 2011.

Police say some killings are the result of “postcode wars.” As the name implies, these are turf wars based on neighborhood affiliations. Patrick Green, CEO of the Ben Kinsella Trust, an anti-knife crime charity, says these hostilities (between neighborhood gangs) are not new, but the degree of violence is much higher than in the past. Green added that some young men he’d met told him they’d never left Tottenham even to go to other areas of London until they were in their twenties, so great was their fear of attack.

Through a spokesperson, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement saying, “London remains one of the safest cities in the world.” Statistically, this may be true. Just make damn sure you don’t wander off its civilized paths because it’s obviously not as safe as it once was. As in any modern city, crime may spike in specific neighborhoods, leaving the rest of the city relatively unscathed. Chicago has been experiencing a similar phenomenon for many years.

As in Chicago, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says “a core group of young offenders” are driving the crime surge. She notes they are committing repeated assaults and robberies “with relative impunity.” She also wonders if more severe punishments could act as a deterrent—more severe than “impunity?” To which every cop reading (and the one writing) this says, um… you think?

As for London, police report they are increasing community patrols and resources for murder investigations. However, police also report murders are rising as police budgets are falling. In fact, the Metropolitan Police have closed and merged their boroughs (precincts), reduced from 32 to 12 commands. This is occurring at the same time there is a fatal stabbing in London every three days.

Since protecting people from crime is any government’s first and primary duty, you have to wonder if Britain’s generous democratic-socialist system might bleed-dry resources that might otherwise go to law enforcement. Although it should be acknowledged that the U.K. has had a welfare state for a long time but without this level of violence. Perhaps it would be prudent to look at other inciting factors that weren’t present in Britain before the increase in violence.

Which brings us to the proverbial elephant in the room, as it were: mass immigration and non-assimilation. While researching for this article, I didn’t see much information about any suspect’s identifying characteristics, and stories only mentioned a few names. But, of the names I saw, of victims and suspects, most appeared to be of Middle Eastern or Muslim origin. This is not a racist comment; this is a factual observation. If I were writing about the violent history of Belfast, I’m thinking I’d be using more than a wee number of Irish names.

So, could this crime surge be a byproduct of imprudent immigration policies, such as we’ve seen in other European nations? Hey, I’m just asking. Oh, right. We’re not allowed to ask pertinent questions that go against the liberal orthodoxy. Politically incorrect, right? I don’t know; considering the bloodshed, it’s an issue better confronted than ignored, isn’t it?

Now, I obviously don’t live in the U.K. However, regarding the immigration (and add to that their non-assimilation/pro-multiculturalism policies) situation, readers commented on the Independent’s story, with a consensus that sounded something like this one: “So, why are young multiculturals shooting and stabbing each other? Why is London’s enforced cultural diversity so toxic to itself? Why is it being allowed to occur?” Good questions.

As I sit here writing this, coincidentally, I’m listening to a British online music station I enjoy. The top-of-the-hour (Sky) news just reported a drive-by shooting of a teenage girl in Tottenham. The reporter also mentioned that a sixteen-year-old boy and another young man were shot in that area recently.

The Brit government should really think about imposing strict gun laws. Oh, wait…

The situation has become so dire the lead physician serving at London’s Air Ambulance, Dr. Gareth Grier, said it was no longer unusual for teams to handle two open chest surgeries in one day. He added, “This would have been unheard of a few years back.”

The Ministry of Justice has transferred some of its authority to London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, enabling Khan to create custom-designed programs to address juvenile offenders and to focus on the “root causes” of criminal activity. Yes, let’s form a task force! All of us thoughtful and caring lefties will meet and talk the problem to death—oh, and blame the conservatives, of course.

The problem here is the left in England, which is in some ways even more radical than in America (but we’re closing the gap), has no interest in the true root causes of the crime spree. Mention to the left it might have something to do with recent immigration and they freak out. Not unlike the left in the U.S. about Chicago’s obscene number of shootings and its murder rate. The British left only has time for causes that fit its pro-illegal immigration, pro-multiculturalism, anti-assimilation, pro-restorative justice political nonsense.

Until the leftist folks responsible for the policies that bring this lawlessness to England step down from their virtue-signaling, virtue-projecting perches, we’re likely to see not only a continuation of the violence but also an increase in it. London has just surpassed the homicide rate of New York City. Londoners need to ask themselves: Is surpassing Chicago next?

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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