How bad is London's murder rate compared to other EU capitals?

How bad is London's murder rate compared to other EU capitals?
By Emma Beswick
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London's murder rate overlapped that of New York's in February and March 2018. But how does the British capital compare to other big cities in the EU in terms of homicides?


For the first time in modern history, the murder rate in London surpassed New York's in February and March 2018, a new report suggested.

As the Big Apple's crime rate dropped, London's soared due to a spate of stabbings.

Some called into question the viability of comparing the two cities in this manner — while they have similar populations (both around 8.5 million), the trend only started in the last two months, which many consider too short a timeframe to be considered pertinent.

In 2017, New York saw almost double the murders than the British capital — at 292 in total.

London vs other EU capitals

Last year, The Met Police recorded 130 murders in London. To put this into perspective, there were 685 homicides across England and Wales in the 2017 financial year.

Berlin saw 91 cases of homicide in 2017 but has a far smaller population of around 3.5 million. The data did not expand further than "homicides," which is the case for many capitals.

This category encompasses all instances of one person killing another, whether there was intent or not, and can include deaths from murder, manslaughter, infanticide and corporate manslaughter.

Madrid's government delegation recorded 39 homicides in 2017. The city has a similar population to Berlin of around 3.2 million inhabitants.

Italy's national stats institute (ISTAT) recorded 21 murders in Rome in 2016 (data for 2017 was not yet available) with 84 homicides taking place in total. The capital has around 2.9 million inhabitants.

Amsterdam saw 19 murders in 2016 but has a smaller population than the rest of the cities with 813,000 people within the city's limits.

Some countries had limited data on homicides and murders. Differences in data collection or classification of different crimes could cause some inconsistencies in results.

Murder capital of the world

Outside the EU, Venezuela's capital Caracas had the most homicides in 2017 at 3,387. The Latin American city has a population of over three million inhabitants — that's a homicide rate of over 100% per 100,000 inhabitants.

Three Brazilian cities were in the top 5, Fortaleza (3,270 homicides), Recife (2,180) and Salvador (2,071), all with populations of around four million people.

It remains to be seen whether the upwards trend of crime in London remains and if New York's efforts to reduce homicides work.

In March, the UK capital had slightly more murders than New York (22 to 21), so this could all change in April.

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