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0 Knife Crime in London How Bad Is It Really?

It seems like there's always a new stabbing story in the news, but is the picture of knife crime really that grim? We examine knife crime data for each London authority

Only last week a fatal stabbing was reported from the Blackberry BBM party in London, yet data compiled by the Guardian shows that the highest rate of severe knife related crime recorded in the capital in the 2010-2011 financial year is less than 0.5% of total crime for each area.
The highest number of murder knife victims (or otherwise where the weapon used was a "sharp instrument"), for 2010 and 2011 calendar years, was only six - in just two London boroughs.
As the chart below shows, in most London authorities the numbers of such deaths were on average between two and four. That being said, the figures for Southwark, where the stabbing took place just after a Jessie J concert, spiked from no homicide victims of knife crime in 2010 to six in 2011.

In order to paint an accurate picture of seriously injured knife crime victims across London we cross-referenced crime data from the Metropolitan Police's website with scraped knife crime figures from this freedom of information response also provided by the Met. The merged data shows the percent of severe stabbings in individual boroughs in the financial year 2010-2011.
Haringey recorded the highest rate of seriously injured knife crime victims in London - which was 0.31% of the total levels of crime recorded for the area by the Met. Check the map below to see the rate of severe stabbings in each borough.

Visualised in Many Eyes the same data shows the number of such stabbings by local authority for every month from January 2010 up to December 2011.

The full data is below - what can you do with it?
Unlike gunshot victims, hospitals don't have to report knife related crime. So, the figures below may not paint the complete picture of knife crime across London as they don't account for unreported incidents.

Data summary

London knife crime 2010-11

Click heading to sort table. Download this data
Local authority
Total reported crime
Knife crimes
% of all crime
Barking & Dagenham19,149360.19
Hammersmith & Fulham24,147340.14
Kensington & Chelsea21,136160.08
Kingston upon Thames11,144110.1
Richmond Upon Thames11,72790.08
Tower Hamlets28,579380.13
Waltham Forest27,525370.13


0 Call To Revive UK Internet Monitoring Bill After Woolwich Killing

Lord Reid and others want Snoopers’ Charter back on the agenda, but are accused of giving a knee-jerk reaction to a horrific murder

Following the murder of a man in Woolwich yesterday, a number of Lords have called for the controversial Communications Data Bill that seeks to impose more Internet monitoring on UK citizens to be put back on the table.
The killing in Woolwich, allegedly carried out by two extremists, which the government said appears to be a terrorist attack, has drawn many extreme reactions. Former government ministers, including former Labour home secretary Lord John Reid, have called for more Internet monitoring in response, angering privacy campaigners.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg appeared to have stopped the bill, known to critics as Snoopers’ Charter, going through to Parliament. It proposed getting ISPs to record all customers’ communications data, which includes the who, when and where of interactions over the Internet and telephony, but not the content itself.

surveillance cyber crimeInternet monitoring ‘back on the agenda’

The bill also sought to store data on citizens’ website visits, all of which was seen by many as a massive intrusion on people’s privacy.
Now supporters of the bill want the government to consider getting it back on the agenda, even though it was not included in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month.
Lord Reid said in the past comms data was massively useful in tracking terrorist threats, but now police did not have enough power to get hold of Internet-based communications quickly.
“You will never find out whether you are right on this one until there is some huge tragedy that might have been averted if they had updated the communication appraisals that can be carried out at GCHQ,” he said, according to the Guardian.
Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch, said it was inappropriate for Lord Reid to be commenting on Snoopers’ Charter given his record in government.
“Lord Reid was one of those responsible for the knee-jerk decision to try and introduce powers for people to be detained for up to 90 days without trial by the last government, after the 7/7 attack,” Pickles told TechWeekEurope in an emailed statement.
“That should be a clear warning of the dangers of rushing forward policy changes when the nation is in shock and of those who seek to use the politics of fear.
“The current government made clear in the Queen’s Speech it will bring forward proposals to address the important issue of identifying who is using a particular internet address and they are right to do so.
“We face down terrorists by defending our values and traditions and acting proportionately, which is a balance current policy recognises.”
Lord Carlile, former independent reviewer of terror laws, said the Woolwich killing should lead to talk about reviving the communications data bill. “Lone wolves, even though they are always inevitably connected at least with Internet training, are very difficult to catch so we must give the authorities proportionate tools to catch them,” he said.
Lord West, the former security minister, told Sky News: “We need to know this information and I do think that the communications data bill which was due to come through and has been put on pause by the deputy prime minister, I think that’s a terrible mistake.”