Black people are 'four times more likely to be murdered'

Black people in London are four times more likely to be murder victims than white people, with those responsible for the murders and manslaughters also far more likely to be black. Homicide suspects are 12 times more likely to be black than white, in proportion to London's population.

The findings are included in a report due to be presented today by Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

The study, which covers cases of all unlawful killings, found that people from an African and Caribbean background were disproportionately likely to be both victims and suspects. Of the 163 homicides in London in the year to April 2006, there were 50 black victims, 72 white, and 23 Asian. Other ethnic minority groups make up the remainder. This compares to a population in the capital in which black people account for 11 per cent, Indian and Pakistanis for 12 per cent and white Europeans for 74 per cent.

Of the 279 people accused of committing the killings 140 were black, 77 were white European and 32 were Asian. The courts have yet to decide how many are guilty as charged.

Part of the explanation for such a high number of black victims and suspects is the continuing rivalry between crack cocaine gangs. The shooting of drug dealers and innocent bystanders accounts for, on average, 13 homicides per year.

The Metropolitan Police has an overall detection rate of 86 per cent. Within that total, the police are more successful at catching the killers of white and Asian people. The detection rates are 92 per cent for white European victims, 91 per cent when the victim is Asian and 84 per cent in black cases.

The study, Homicide and Serious Crime Command - investigating homicides, also says that traditional "house- to-house searches" are no longer considered as important as gathering evidence in the first few hours after a crime. It says research shows that the "golden hours" at the start of the inquiry are crucial as to whether a murder case can be solved quickly.

Scotland Yard is about to merge three murder department under one command which will have 1,291 officers and staff, 49 fewer officers than at present.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat