This blog is all that remains from the former website which was closed after 8 years of providing a 'wiki' of urban street gangs in London.

An unfinished history of modern urban street gangs in London has been used to replace some of the content of the original site, beginning here

Monday, 20 August 2012

London Homicide Data

Earlier in 2012 two Met Police Freedom of Information requests were published regarding homicide victims in London (covering the full calendar years of 2006 through to 2011). 

The information contained within the FOI's gave details on geography, victim age, victim gender, date, methods or instruments used and whether or not the case had been solved.

Through triangulation of available homicide data with the Murder Map website, local and national news reports and Met Police press releases it has been possible to attach further details to these incidences, including motives and ethnic appearance of victims.

Age of Victims

The data available had records of 866 homicides between 2006 and 2011.

Between 2006 and 2011 the majority of homicide victims in London were aged 20-29, accounting for 29.9% or 259 victims. This was followed by those aged 30-39 with 19.2% or 166 victims, and those aged 10-19 with 15.0% or 130 victims.

Between 2006 and 2011 there was a reduction in homicide of -29.7% from 172 down to 121. These changes varied considerably by age group,

  • Child victims reduced -62.5% (from 8 in 2006 to 3 in 2011)
  • Age 10-19 victims -5.6%  (from 18 in 2006 to 17 in 2011)
  • Age 20-29 victims -26.8%  (from 56 in 2006 to 41 in 2011)
  • Age 30-39 victims -24.2%  (from 33 in 2006 to 25 in 2011)
  • Age 40-49 victims -39.1%  (from 23 in 2006 to 14 in 2011)
  • Age 50-59 victims -58.8%  (from 17 in 2006 to 7 in 2011)
  • Age 60+ victims -17.6%  (from 17 in 2006 to 14 in 2011)
The main change of note is within the 10-19 aged victims category which has remained relatively stable over time with the exception of notable peaks in 2007 and 2008.

Gender of Victims

The majority of London homicide victims are male accounting for 76% between 2006 and 2011. Since 2006 there has been a -31.4% reduction in the volume of male homicide victims in London, from 137 down to 94. However, the change in volume of female homicide victims has been more modest, falling just -7.4% during the same period, from 27 down to 25.

Ethnicity/Ethnic Appearance of Victims

These statistics will perhaps be the most sought after for observers, however, must be used with caution when considering their subjectiveness. The ethnic appearance of victims has been interpreted through multiple sources including images, news reports and nationalities.

Those who on the face of them are White are counted as White (this would encompass White British, White Irish, a host of European countries i.e. Polish, Russian, Lithuanian and so on). Those who on the face of them appeared to be Black were listed as Black, however, this will inevitably include those who are mixed White and Black, or mixed Asian and Black etc.

Black can include those who are Black British, Black Caribbean, Black African, Black and other ethnic appearance mixed. It would also include those whose appearance is Black but not necessarily one of the aforementioned categories - for example someone who is Portuguese and Black.

Those who are counted as Asian includes those of Bengali, Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan descent.

There was no simple way to assign an ethnic appearance (apologies for using such governmental type categorisation) to a number of victims, therefore, other nationalities and ethnic appearance that could not as easily be assigned a category were counted as other. Where insufficient details were available they were counted as unknown.

Other includes Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Brazilian, Ecuadorian, Northern African (i.e. Moroccan) and Middle Eastern (i.e. Saudi Arabian or Iranian).

This is far from a sound analysis so please be mindful of the caveats if re-producing.

It shows that those with a White appearance accounted for the largest proportion of homicide victims between 2006 and 2011 (42.6%), followed by Black (30.0%) and Asian (13.3%).

There were notable changes over time when considering ethnic appearance between 2006 and 2011:
  • White declined -43.3% (from 80 down to 47)
  • Asian declined -33.3% (from 27 down to 18)
  • Black remained stable with 43 victims in both 2006 and 2011 (peaking at 50 in 2008)
  • "Other" increased +14.3% (from 7 up to 8, but peaking in 2007-2009 with avg of 15)

Weapons Used

Knives were used as the main weapon in 42% of homicides between 2006 and 2011. In 24% of homicides no weapon was used and in 15% a firearm was used.

Weapon Use and Ethnicity
  • Those who were Asian were more likely to have been killed with a knife (43.5%) or no weapons used (23.5%).
  • Those who were Black were more likely to have been killed with a knife (49.2%) or firearm (34.2%).
  • Those who were White were more likely to have been killed with a knife (39.8%) or no weapons used (37.4%).
As a percentage of total homicides:
  • For those killed by Arson 60% of victims were Asian
  • For those killed by Blunt Object 46% of victims were White
  • For those killed by Firearm 68% of victim were Black (21% White)
  • For those killed by Knife 40% of victims were White (35% Black)
  • Where no weapon was used 66% of victims were White (13% Asian)

Motive/Categorisation of Methods

Below are "motives" for homicides as a percentage of the total. Some incidents may occur in multiple categories, for example a drugs robbery may count in Drug-Related and in Robbery.

Many of the homicides counted did not offer a clear motive. In most cases the victim and suspect were known to one another.
  • Gangs/Organised Crime 32%
  • Domestic Violence 15%
  • Alcohol-Related 12%
  • Drug-Related 7%
  • Robbery 6%
  • Mental Illness 6%
  • Child/Infanticide 5%
  • Hate Crime 1%

Highest Average Rates Per Borough Per 100,000 2006-2011
  • Lambeth 4.7
  • Newham 4.0
  • Hackney 3.4
  • Southwark 3.0
  • Islington 2.8
  • Haringey 2.7
  • Greenwich 2.6
  • Tower Hamlets 2.4
  • Lewisham, Waltham Forest 2.3
  • Brent 2.2
  • Barking & Dagenham, Croydon, Ealing 1.9
  • Enfield, Hammersmith & Fulham 1.8
  • City of Westminster 1.7
  • Camden, Wandsworth 1.6
  • Hillingdon 1.4
  • Bexley 1.2
  • Barnet, Bromley, Merton 1.1
  • Havering, Hounslow 1.0
  • Harrow, Kensington & Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton less than 1.0

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