Debate Magazine

Crime and Gun Violence: Them.....and Us/ U.S.

Posted on the 08 May 2011 by Mikeb302000
We have a lot of claims about the relative amount of crime in places that have stricter gun laws.  I found this item this morning on the BBC web site:

Man shot in the head and leg in Bromley-by-Bow

Officers at the scene in Devons Road The victim was shot in the head and leg A man has been shot in the head and leg in east London.The victim, who is in his 40s, was found by a member of the public in Devons Road in Bromley-by-Bow.
Police were alerted about the shooting at about 2220 BST on Friday. The man was taken to hospital by air ambulance and is said to be in a critical condition.
The Metropolitan Police said no arrests have so far been made in connection with the inquiry.
So, I became curious about the assertions regarding gun violence in London, one of the largest cities in the world, and the assertion that other crimes of violence were increasing.  Gun and knife violence were particularly mentioned as DECLINING.
I didn't find any handy stats in a casual peruse for 2011; it might be a bit soon for those to have been tabulated and released, but I'll keep looking.  These were released in 2010 for the preceding year:
Gun crime increased dramatically in London last year even though the total number of offences fell, new figures revealed today. Violent attacks were also up. Senior officers said there were “grave concerns” over the rises.
The number of offences involving guns — which also includes cases where criminals claimed to be armed — soared by 49 per cent to 3,306 cases, up from 2,224 in 2008.
While many involved air guns or even fake or imitation weapons, senior detectives have told the Standard there was a worrying rise in the number of gangland shootings.
Overall crime in the capital in 2009 was at its lowest level for 10 years, with significant falls in youth violence and knife attacks.
But gangsters engaged in drug and turf wars are increasingly using firearms to settle scores, and often only the skill of paramedics prevented shootings becoming murders.
The bold emphasis added to the quotes above and below is mine.  So, while there has been some areas of increase, overall crime is down, not up.  For those areas that have increased, there appears to have been steps taken to address the increases.  As much as we would all like there to be no crime, I think if we agree that people are more important than property, then we have to posit that these are overall, improvements to the crime problems. The article continued:
Commander Maxine de Brunner said: “Overall, crime continues to fall, which is great news for London.
“In particular, falls in homicide, youth violence and knife crime represent continuing success in tackling these offences. However, the Met is not complacent. We continue to tackle those challenges head-on.”
The number of youth violence cases fell by 3.5 per cent to a total of 20,272, meaning there were 725 fewer victims last year.
Knife crime, which claimed the lives of 10 teenagers, fell 7.9 per cent — a drop of 1,037 offences.
London's murder rate also fell to its lowest rate in recent history — with 130 homicides, compared with 155 in 2008.
The number of teenage murders was halved from a record total of 30 in 2008 to 15 last year.
Cases of homophobic crime rose by 27 per cent and race crime was up by seven per cent.
The total number of crimes in London fell by more than two per cent to 832,439 offences, down from 851,721 offences in 2008.
The Met said there were 20,000 fewer victims of crime last year than 2008.

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