The country’s most senior policeman has rebuffed the political fashion for likening Britain’s inner cities to The Wire, the critically acclaimed American drama.
Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said that the annual murder rate in London was two deaths per 100,000 of the population — compared with 35 per 100,000 in Baltimore, where the gritty gangland series is set.
I don't think anyone is saying that violence is non-existent in England. On the contrary, it's serious business.
Murders account for a small proportion of the shootings but detectives have noted a rise in attacks intended to injure or intimidate — ranging from wounding in the legs and buttocks to shooting at homes and cars.
Commander Martin Hewitt told The Times: “We are seeing more lower limb woundings than before. Sometimes that is due to the gunman being a poor shot or the weapon being a poor and inaccurate conversion. But some shootings are deliberately trying not to kill — they are about making a point, intimidating someone, being seen to be doing something.”
That's a frightening picture of what's going on there, but I would imagine if you compared incidents of purposeful wounding between London and Baltimore, you'd have about the same proportion as you do with murders. What do you think?
I've heard so much about the substitution of knives for guns, as if that has made up for the difference. What do you think? Are pro-gun advocates in America so defensive about their position that they have to deny obvious and straightforward facts? Guns are more lethal than knives, period.
Murder rates per 100,000 population
133 Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
130 Caracas, Venezuela
67 New Orleans
62 Cape Town
6 New York
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.