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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
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: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Recruitment Genius: CNC Turner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established manufactu...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral