Violent crime falls rapidly as UK becomes more peaceful place

Encouraging figures come alongside separate study showing hospital admissions after violent incidents are down

The UK is becoming a more peaceful place with rates of violent crime and murder falling more rapidly in the past decade any other Western European country, researchers say.

Murders were down from 1.99 per 100,000 people in 2003, to only one per 100,000 people in 2012, according to the UK Peace Index, a report compiled by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace. 

The violent crime rate overall was down by a quarter in the same time period, from 1,255 crimes per 100,000 people, to just 933.

The encouraging figures come as a separate study by Cardiff University suggests that the number of people hospitalised in violent incidents was down by 14 per cent in 2012. 267,291 people required care, down by 40,706 from 2011.

The UK Peace Index has mapped the country based on levels of peace, determined by Home Office data on crime and police officer numbers.

It found that Broadlands, in Norfolk, was the most peaceful local council area in the UK, followed by Three Rivers in Hertfordshire and South Cambridgeshire.

The least peaceful area was Lewisham in south London, with a homicide rate of 2.5, more than twice the national average. All five of the least peaceful areas were in London, among them Lambeth, Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

The report said 80 per cent of the 343 local authority areas surveyed had seen at least a 10 per cent reduction in violence.

The report’s authors said that reasons for the fall in violence were varied but that improved policing practices, the ageing population, decreased alcohol consumption and rising real wages over the past decade could all have had an impact.

The fear of crime was found to be far greater than the reality, with 25 per cent of people expecting to become a victim of crime, but only 4 per cent actually experiencing it.

The most violent urban area outside London was Glasgow, while the least violent was Cardiff.

IEP Chairman Steve Killelea said: “The UK Peace Index clearly indicates that the UK has become substantially more peaceful in the past decade, but it also shows that further improvements in peace would generate billions of pounds in extra economic activity.”

“While the increased level of peace cannot be narrowed down to any single factor, the findings of the UK Peace Index show that poverty and economic opportunity are significantly associated with peace as supported by other international studies,” he added.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there