Inconvenient Truth : Violent Crime Rate In The Gun-Free UK Is 800% Of The Heavily Armed US

According to the FBI, there were 1.2 million violent crimes committed in the US last year.

FBI — Violent Crime

According to the UK government, there were 1.94 million violent crimes in the UK last year.

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_296191.pdf

There are almost exactly five times as many people in the US as in the UK – 314 million vs. 63 million.

The violent crime rate in the UK is 3,100 per 100,000, and in the US it is 380 per 100,000 population.

Why didn’t Piers Morgan mention this inconvenient fact? Americans are much safer than Brits. In the UK, criminals know that their victims are unarmed and defenseless – just as Adam Lanza did.

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46 Responses to Inconvenient Truth : Violent Crime Rate In The Gun-Free UK Is 800% Of The Heavily Armed US

  1. sunsettommy says:

    This has been knows for years now but very relevant today because it vividly shows the failure of trying to create gun free zones that is really an open invitation to crooks who take advantage of the opportunity.

  2. Petrov says:

    I believe that part of the high crime rate is due to the fact that British have a wider classification of what constitutes violent crime.

    • I have lived both places. There is much less violent crime in the US, unless you live in an inner city.

      • jim says:

        Yes you are correct stevengoodard-I was just in London, and I can say that place scares me more than walking in downtown New Orleans these days. . . .

      • Simon Jones says:

        Right. A few brief thoughts. Some of these have been said before; I have no desire to repeat them ad nauseam, but the following should be noted.
        First, Mr. Steven Goddard’s post contains a significant amount of systematic bias. That doesn’t mean that Mr. Goddard is determined to portray an image of the UK as a violent place, but rather means that the opinion shown cites a very limited pair of statistics for support, without adequate explanation, and does so with further assertions (e.g., “I have lived both places. There is much less violent crime in the US, unless you live in an inner city”)that unambiguously demonstrate Goddard’s usage of his own opinion to dictate what statistics he cites, instead of the other way around.
        But even were that not true, Goddard cites data from two very different sources. For example, the FBI’s definition of violent crime, as stated on the webpage Goddard has linked to, is thus:
        “In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.”
        The other statistic comes from the UK Office for National Statistics, whose stated definition for violence is:
        “Violent crime covers a wide range of offences, from minor assaults such as pushing and shoving
        that result in no physical harm through to serious incidents of wounding and murder. Robbery, an
        offence in which violence or the threat of violence is used during a theft (or attempted theft) is not
        included in the police recorded violence against the person offence group as it is reported separately
        in the robbery section, but it is included within CSEW violence.”
        Their definitions of violent crime are obviously separate, then, and the data also comes from two different years. One must also reflect the differences between the two organizations, and their purposes, to ensure that neither is biased. The FBI is a law enforcement agency, responsible for investigating and preventing serious crime, and the ONS, by contrast, is a government department independent of the UK Home Office (who maintain responsibility for policing), dedicated to presenting statistics and information. In short, it is quite possible (however unlikely) that the FBI has underestimated, or underreported, perhaps even unconsciously, to create a better impression of their abilities, while the ONS would have less incentive to do this. Mr. Goddard’s usage compares apples to oranges, what in the statistics trade are called two “semi-attached figures.”
        But even were that not true, Goddard’s post does not reflect the fact that the UK and US are two very different places, with different racial, ethnic, and religious compositions, with different degrees of education, and different attitudes toward crime, the police force, and the government. To imply that the two nations are comparable in this manner, these differences would first have to be accounted for. As it stands, the separate cultural attitudes of the two nations creates a lurking variable that disrupts and confuses the point Goddard is making.
        But even were that not true, it is a great mistake to attribute the UK’s crime rate to a causal factor without justification. Correlation, statisticians so frequently say, does not imply causation. Goddard describes a high crime rate as being the result of a “gun-free” nation; it would make just as much (or just as little) sense to attribute the crime rate to lower prison sentences, higher population density, or any one of a hundred other details that distinguish the nature of the UK and US. Implying causation from correlation (especially from these data) is misleading, even unethically so.
        But even were that not true, Goddard passes judgement on the UK’s crime rate in comparison to the US without regard for other factors. The total gap between the total crime rates between the two nations is vastly less pronounced, and for both nations (guns or no guns) the crime rate is falling. Firearm availability should be an equal (or if not equal, at least considerable) deterrent to, say, burglaries, but this is not evidenced in total crime rates. Incidentally, even violent crime, as shown by the ONS data, has declined in the UK since the handgun ban went into effect in the late 1990s.
        But even were this not true, Goddard’s data does not point out another undeniable advantage to the UK’s low rate of gun-ownership. The very low murder rate in the UK is not merely a scarcity of firearms deaths, but of homicides overall. In 2011, the US boasted more than 14,000 homicides (data from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime), in comparison to the UK’s 540. It would be a mistake to assume that an increased firearms presence would decrease the prevalence of murder.
        To conclude, I should like to stress that I do not necessarily disapprove of Mr. Steven Goddard’s opinion, to which he has every right. Even his statistics are based on real, published data, which he cites in full. However, his conclusion, that guns play a major role in the internal security of the United States, is unsubstantiated by the data he presents. I repeat, I do not say that guns are NOT a factor. But Goddard’s evidence is speculative at best, and his methods are unscientific, and, ultimately, completely unsound.

  3. SMS says:

    I was looking at some homicide stats for Australia recently. You could see where deaths by guns has been going down. It also looked like death due to knives was taking up the slack and no real change in homicide rates has occurred since Australia banned owning guns.

  4. Australia also has 500% more rapes than the US. I personally sleep well knowing that I can defend myself, unlike the defenseless women in Australia.

  5. Chris Currah says:

    This is one meme that really needs to be put to bed. The simple reason is that the statistics have been misunderstood. Please read the link:
    http://dispellingthemythukvsusguns.wordpress.com/

  6. morrisdl says:

    Chris and everyone, what do you see as the goal of this discussion?

    Chris, I appreciated your analysis but, when we try to link numbers and words between two countries separated by a common language it results in an unsolvable problem. Your numbers, based on the skewed definitions used by each nation, rely on our interpretation of their definition. As an example our violent crime definition includes “aggravated assault…. or threat of force”. In many cases this is maps very well to the British statement which is trying to soften the discussion by saying, “Around a half of violent incidents identified by both BCS and police statistics involve no injury to the victim.”

    Next, both sources fail to assess the impacts of geography and demographics. Neither source support the ability to extract statistics on problem areas that skew the overall report. For example, the violent crime rate in Chicago as compared to other major cities, the arson rate in Detroit as compared to New York City, the cultural make up of stable and unstable cities, the vast differences in crime statistics between rural and urban locations, the comparisons are endless.

    Lastly, I respect your opinion regards gun control but, banning an inanimate object while stating a “hope” that we will reduce the loss of life is misguided and tragically flawed. As an example, mass murderers simply see weapons, semi-automatic pistols and rifles, single action firearms, knives, clubs, etc., as a means used to meet their goal. If all semi-automatic “assault rifles” sales were banned; if the millions of semi-automatic of all types were confiscated, these mentally deranged individuals would simply find another means to execute their plan. For example, MSN has reported on a mass murder in China. The weapon… a knife. 22 elementary school children were murdered in a very gruesome and personal attack. If you do some additional research, you see that a knife has been used in several mass murders in China. These children were not protected by the very strict gun laws in China. Can China ban knives, can we? The point is that a ban on a category of firearms, or any weapon for that matter, is the classic showboating quick fix that has become the norm in Washington. We deserve more… Where is the work to assess how we can help these sick people who have a need to hurt defenseless people in “gun free zones”? Where is the work to help self-esteem and self-worth, and provide aid to people before they lash out? Personally, I believe we are seeing the results of the past 70 years wherein the population has been told that family, faith, and our founding principles need to be ignored or “Changed”. Many of these people lacked the guidance and support needed. Further the problem is compounded by government at all levels failing to establish needed support when family and faith fails.

    Our focus should be on our societal problems not the effectiveness or availability of a hunk of metal.

    • Cam says:

      Well stated. Good ideas. Wish we could force Washington put back the mentally ill funds that closed the support needed.

  7. Soaking Scot says:

    “violent crime” or assault in the UK can include spitting on someone, throwing an egg at them, literally anything that can cause someone to feel any pain or discomfort whatsoever. In the UK you can have an assualt conviction (classed as violent crime) for spraying someone with a waterpistol (even if it only has water in it)., Have a look at the figure of hospitalisations and deaths for violent crime and you’ll see the true story

  8. Chris Currah says:

    The point I was making was that there is no doubt that a country without general ownership of firearms has a lower murder rate, that is not only common sense but is backed up by research. The statistics that have been misused to show that the Uk has a higher rate of violent crime have been misunderstood and the opposite is the case.

    The elephant in the room here is that a large number of people that own firearms, or collect them, if they are being honest with themselves, do so as it makes them feel powerful. The last sort of person who should own them.

  9. David Platts says:

    Violent crime in the U.S. is not classified as stringently as in the rest of the developed world. The numbers for violent crime comparison is similar to comparing an apple to an orange as if they are the same fruit. The data is useless but does provide an article with useless buzz. Sad.

    It would be best to compare reported total crime per 100,000 and then compare to other developed nations. When this analysis is complete a different picture is more apparent. I did this report. The representative year for each nation was for 2009. Information came from Eurostat in 2012 (release date). The report provided no data for Austria, Ireland and Spain. I used developed nations that were on both the IMF and CIA developed nation list for Europe. Data was used for developed nations on this list with population in excess of 1 million. I then used FBI data for the year 2009 for total reported crime. Firearm data was provided by http://www.gunpolicy.org from the University of Sydney who compiled data from a variety of sources. Here were the results per 100,000 in population followed by firearms per household in close correct approximation:

    1) Sweden – 15,026 1
    2) Belgium – 9,709 ,8
    3) Denmark – 8,904 .5
    4) Switzerland – 8,686 1.7
    5) Finland – 8,065 1.7
    6) Netherlands – 7,456 .12
    7) Germany – 7,404 1.2
    8) United States – 7,213 4.0
    9) United Kingdom – 7,132 .25
    10) Norway – 5,139 1.0
    11) Italy – 4,380 .5
    12) Portugal – 4,009 3 to 1.0
    13) France – 3,717 1.1
    14) Greece – 3,493 .9

    Sweden has problems with domestic partner abuse and I think these numbers could reflect that issue. However, I did not research this problem in regard to this outlier for Sweden. I am only making an educated guess.

    This data has the U.S. in the middle in all reported crime and, since it logs every crime reported to law enforcement, it would appear to have more relevance. Firearms in Europe had no correlation in crime versus firearms owned. The U.S. is in the middle of the report in terms of crime with Italy, Portugal, France and Greece substantially better in reported crime in comparison to the U.S. Portugal had huge variance on firearm ownership. I did not uncover the reason for this discrepancy as that data was alone in this discrepancy and had no impact on the data presented.

    The bottom line: No correlation exists in number of firearms owned in a society and total reported crime. Again, no correlation exists at all! Writing an article with this intent is deceptive.

    Here is the key data where correlation does exist. It is in unified strict firearm regulation and firearm death, firearm murder and total murder. The European nations each have very similar firearm regulations. The U.S., by far, is less regulated. The more regulation shows correlation with less death by firearm, less regulation provides higher firearm death in a developed society. Substantially more. Only developed nations are comparative and, using a cross reference of IMF and CIA data for developed nations, 25 nations with population of 1 million or more are in this category, including the U.S. 14 of these nations are compared here.

    So, firearm violence and death are much more of a problem for the U.S. Our firearm death rate is 10.2 per 100,000. The second worst nation on this list is Switzerland, from the most recent data I could find, at 3.5 per 100,000. The U.S. murder rate is 4.7 per 100,000. The second worst is Finland at 2.2. The worst firearm murder rate is the U.S. (again) at 2.75. Greece is the 2nd worst at .59. By the way, all of the European nations on this list require a license for all firearm owners (the Swiss exempts some manual repetition rifles), background checks (criminal and mental-in the least), many nations require denial or revocation of a license for domestic abuse and locks/safes are required for firearms. The U.S. has a lot of holes in comparison to these laws and our firearm death and murder numbers reflect these problems.

    • The US is an extremely safe place for most people, except for areas which vote 90%+ for Obama. Turn off CNN.

      • A different Cam says:

        Haha, point taken. I do armed secuirty for several of these “areas” in and around Chicago. All section 8. It should be mandatory for U.S. citizens to spend a week in one of them, so that know what REALLY goes on. I’ve been shot at more times than most of the cops i know.

  10. Mclovin says:

    Soaking Scott said earlier: “violent crime” or assault in the UK can include spitting on someone, throwing an egg at them, literally anything that can cause someone to feel any pain or discomfort whatsoever. In the UK you can have an assault conviction (classed as violent crime) for spraying someone with a waterpistol (even if it only has water in it)., Have a look at the figure of hospitalisations and deaths for violent crime and you’ll see the true story”

    that remark about spitting, throwing an egg, the water gun. those things too CAN be and have been under the US’ assault laws…I was in high school, college, and post college in the US for some time and those little things Scott mentioned that are considered assault in the UK are considered in the US too! especially a huge city like NYC and LA. also touching someone in not just the wrong place but a spot totally non-sexual can be considered an assault if they feel uncomfortable and violated of personal space.

    do you mean to tell me there are several hundred UK citizens making police reports for having even the smallest amount of discomfort and “pain” inflicted on them by the attacker? are you telling me that several hundred out of the reported 2,000 per 100,000 “violent crimes” are getting sprayed with a water gun, egg thrown at them, pushed or shoved?

    either way the US law has those same parameters on assaults and violent crimes as the UK but in comparison both countries categorized and grouped them differently…..

    besides…their violent crime is still decreasing overall (down below) while firearm sales among law abiding people have skyrocketed. and don’t say they don’t because with so much proposed legislation and new laws on guns they made damn sure to buy. research the laws in Maryland that go into effect in a couple of days. October 1, 2013 I believe? this includes people who never owned guns. I really shouldn’t have gone back to Mexico. extremely tight gun laws and only the gangs and cartels have them.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/violent-crime

    research the US definition of Violent Crime. it includes “Assault” and here is the definition of Assault:

    “Simple assault can be distinguished without the intent of injury upon another person. The violation of one’s personal space or touching in a way the victim deemed inappropriate can be simple assault. In common law states an assault is not committed by merely, for example, swearing at another; without threat of battery, there can be no assault.”

    Laws on assault vary by state. Since each state has its own laws, there is no universal assault law. Acts classified as assault in one state may be classified as battery, menacing, intimidation, reckless endangerment etc. in another state. Modern American statutes may define assault as including:

    an attempt to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another
    negligently causing bodily injury to another with a dangerous weapon.
    causing bodily harm by reckless operation of a motor vehicle (vehicular assault).
    threatening another in a menacing manner.
    knowingly causing physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative
    causing stupor, unconsciousness or physical injury by intentionally administering a drug or controlled substance without consent
    purposely or knowingly causing reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in another
    any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act

  11. Mclovin says:

    ALSO….did anyone forget that in the US most of the murders and gun related deaths are mostly in the criminal community? they’re criminal on criminal murders/gun deaths majority of the time. before i came back to Mexico i lived in several big cities and even small towns. what i saw was the more armed good citizens i saw the more those murders and gun deaths stayed in the criminal community. remember we can all look at charts and stats all we want but they are JUST numbers. they never mention the demographic.

  12. mathilda37 says:

    And yet the American homicide rate is about four times that of the UK on a per capita basis.

    You need to understand that differences in definition of violent crimes between countries can make one place look like a hell hole, as it counts a case of pushing someone in a pub as a violent crime, when no-one was hurt. Another country only counts hospitalized cases as violent crimes.

    The baseline is the homicide rate, Americans get killed more often. Simple, and can’t be obfuscated.

    • I’ve lived in both countries. Unless you live in a 90% Democratic inner US city, the US is much safer than the UK.

      • ml66uk says:

        I’ve lived in several places in both countries too, and always felt a lot safer in the UK.

        I can still remember talking with people in Orlando about how they thought the media coverage of some recent murders was overblown, then them being shocked by the thought that I was planning to walk about five minutes to get back to my hotel at about 11pm, and insisting that I took a taxi.

    • Latitude says:

      The baseline is the homicide rate, Americans get killed more often. Simple, and can’t be obfuscated.
      =====
      You can’t compare the UK and American homicide rates…because, as you said, they don’t count them the same way.
      The American system counts a huge amount of deaths as homicides..compared to the way the UK counts them. For one thing, the UK does not count a death as a homicide unless there’s a conviction.

      • Gamecock says:

        And Mr. Goddard is correct. If you take the blacks killing blacks out of the U.S. numbers, we have one of the lowest rates in the world. 50% of homicides by firearm discharge in the U.S. are committed by black men, even though they are only 6% of the population.

  13. mathilda37 says:

    I’d like to add that we do legally own guns guns in the UK. But rifles and long shotguns are ill suited to crimes of stealth, which is probably why you don’t see drug dealers trying to tuck them into the back of their pants.

  14. Chris Currah says:

    Why would you want to take black men out of the equation? Are they somehow a different class of American?

  15. Chris Currah says:

    I asked why you take “black men” out of the equation, I said nothing about Democrats. I’ll repeat the question in a different way, Why did say “black men” and not just Democrats?

  16. Chris Currah says:

    If you didn’t say it I have no hesitation in apologising. However your comment was in support of “Gamecock” who did say it. I haven’t seen your objection yet to him/her wrongly quoting you.

    • Did you study debate at the University Of Strawman?

      • Chris Currah says:

        I’m not quite sure how you categorise that as a Strawman argument. Gamecock misquoted you, I questioned his use of black men, you responded in support of him (I assume). I’ll ask again, why separate black men from the statistics, are they a lesser form of American?

        • You are about as slimy as a person gets.

        • Gamecock says:

          Mr./Ms. Currah, a year ago you said,

          “The elephant in the room here is that a large number of people that own firearms, or collect them, if they are being honest with themselves, do so as it makes them feel powerful. The last sort of person who should own them.”

          I see no reason to take you seriously.

  17. Chris Currah says:

    You really do seem to me be using every strategy to avoid a really easy question. Gamecock said that if you remove black men from the statistics it changes the statistics. I am merely asking you to explain what conclusions you draw from that about black men (if any)? You made the statement so it’s not unreasonable to ask you to clarify that. I don’t understand why you find that so difficult to answer?

  18. Chris Currah says:

    Really guys, it’s not difficult at all and I am certainly not trolling. If you think that the murder rate amongst black men is down to their socioeconomic status which is in turn a result of decades of racism just say so, alternatively if you think there is another reason just say so as well. Can I remind Gamecock that you raised the issue of removing black men from the statistics but don’t seem to want to elaborate on the reasons for the high murder rate in that demographic, why not, or haven’t you thought it through?

  19. Elliot says:

    This is THE worst and, I have to say it, most biased accounts of just about anything I have ever read. Not only does the author completely misinterpret just about every bit of data (and judgements lack off) but the comments, my god how awful.

    I can tell you some people in many countries are silly and downright wrong in their statements but the comments on this supporting ‘Merica’ and it’s -pro gun ways are absurd. “Take out the blacks and we have one of the lowest homicide rates in the world” – forgot black people aren’t American.

    And making a leap that the higher crime in the UK is due to lack of gun ownership is the most absurd conclusion you could just about make, which is well highlighted by the (few) sane people on here.

    You have lived in the UK and US which makes you an expert on crime rate, err no. That is all subjective and down to location etc. A ‘feeling’ isn’t a way to base facts, maybe that’s where you have all gone wrong.

    (This site seems to have a fishy resemblance to just about every US news site where they are all extremely biased and push towards their preferred party, huh.)

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