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UK Crime Rate Vs. US: A Shocking Revelation


UK Crime Rate Vs. US

The UK vs. the US crime rate comparison always reveals shocking stats that no law-abiding citizen, law enforcement agency, or government is happy seeing. That’s because crime has no gain but pain. It can also tarnish a country’s or city’s reputation.

The surge in knife and gun attacks in the last couple of years would make you want to question each region’s law enforcement agencies’ efficiency. Are they not equipped well enough? What happened to intelligence gathering? Or are people becoming more comfortable with committing these crimes?

A lot of such tricky questions might be running through your mind now. But let’s not forget in a hurry that law enforcement agents are humans too. They also may not be able to prevent or fight crimes without the citizens and government’s help.

While comparing crime rates in the UK to the United States isn’t the most palatable thing to do, we still need such a comparison for knowledge and awareness.

UK Vs. US Homicide Rate:

Homicide is the death of a person purposefully inflicted by another. The past and more recent homicide rate in the United Kingdom indicates that the UK is doing far better than the United States in this type of crime. If you want to check this, you’ll find that the criminal records of US citizens are often available publicly and can be found with a criminal record check service, like Information.com.

In 2017, there were 140 cases of homicide in the United Kingdom. This equates to a homicide rate of 1.59 per 100,000 residents. And what’s more, this figure or rate includes casualties from the London Bridge terrorist attack, which occurred in June that same year.

In 2018, the UK witnessed a reduction in homicide cases. The metropolitan police figure reveals that the UK capital only had 136 homicides, which equates to 1.54 homicides per 100,000 residents.

Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland recorded 728 homicides in 2017. They also recorded 774 homicides in 2018 and witnessed a decrease in 2019, with just 665 deaths recorded that year.

Now, when you compare deaths in the UK to that of the 30 largest cities in the United States during the same period, you will find that the United State’s homicide rate is much higher.

The Brennan Center for Justice, a reputable policy institute from the New York University, analyzed crime rates from different cities in the United States. The report was from the various local police departments.

In the 2017 analysis, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore’s homicide rates were 24.1, 39.8, and 55.8, respectively.

In another analysis conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice in 2018, figures obtained indicated that violent crime and homicides declined quite a bit.

The group reported that the crime rate recorded in 2018 declined slightly from the previous year by 3.5 percent. And the analysis was for the 30 largest cities in the US.

But despite the decline in the US’s crime rate, the UK is still safer by a wide margin. A look at FBI data alone reveals that Baltimore, the country’s deadliest city in 2017, boasts a murder rate that’s 45 times more than London’s.

Again, San Diego, one of the largest cities in the US, still boasts a homicide rate higher than the UK’s. It had a homicide rate of 2.2 murders per 100,000 residents. In contrast, the UK’s homicide rate during the same period was 1.59 murders per 100,000 residents.

A Handy Tip:  Homicide refers to crimes related to infanticide, murder, and manslaughter.

The most common weapons used in UK homicide include Knives and other sharp objects. But the government is making massive efforts to curb knife violence throughout the region.

Of the 650 homicides recorded in 2019, 257 of the victims got stabbed. Again, 130 got assaulted, 28 shot, 22 strangled, 19 were cases of fire, and 194 were unknown.

Contrary to the UK, firearms were the primary weapons used to perpetrate homicide in the United States of America. The firearms include shotguns, handguns, rifles, and other types of guns.

In 2018, firearms accounted for 10,265 deaths, whereas knives and other cutting instruments only accounted for 1,515 homicides, according to the FBI homicide data.

But things are gradually looking much better for the UK, as measures have been put in place to curb knife violence. Now, moving with a knife longer than three inches without tangible reason is a punishable offense.

If the UK can enforce the law on knife carrying to the latter, homicide crime rates may reduce drastically. The UK also has strict gun laws, which have decreased firearm-related crimes by a wide margin.

UK Vs. US Robbery Crime Rates

The year 2019 is a year the UK experienced one of the highest numbers of robbery-related offenses in history. A report shows that there were 92.48 thousand robbery-related crimes during this period.

The only time the region ever experienced such a high robbery crime rate was from 2002 to 2003. During this period, there were 117 thousand robbery cases in the UK.

What made the 2019 to 2020 report on robbery cases in the UK significant was the low crime rate experienced before the sudden rise. From 2014 to 2015, only 52 thousand robbery attacks took place in the UK.

Many factors are also responsible for the increased robbery crime rates in the UK. Unfortunately, people were quick to point accusing fingers at law enforcement agencies. But the question is, do they have enough financial and human resources to curb these crimes?

Compared to 2010, Wales and England reportedly had 15,000 fewer police officers assigned to fight crimes. Across the United Kingdom, money spent on police services dropped by over 2 billion British pounds in the same period. But from 2019 to 2020, the amount the UK government spent on police service was 18.54 billion British pounds.

Furthermore, a look at the United States’ FBI report on robbery shows that the UK is much safer. The robbery crime rate in the UK as a whole is lower than in the US. In 2019, an FBI report shows that there were 267,988 thousand robbery cases in the US.

The Factors That Make The UK Vs. US Crime Rate Comparison Challenging

There are several reasons comprising crime rates in these two regions might prove problematic. It’s easier for the police departments to provide a report on crime rates. But the question is, can we wholly rely on those reports?

Let’s focus on the factors that could hinder crime rate comparison between the UK and the US, or any other region.

Trusting the police:

The police need to do much to win back the trust of the people because it is dwindling. Most people prefer to withhold information on crimes committed before their very eyes for fear of being arrested. There are cases where prosecutors have put witnesses in jail.

So, an eye witness that may have valuable information on a crime may decide not to provide any. Most crimes also go unreported.

For these reasons, a country you thought had a low homicide, robbery, or other crime rates might boast a higher one. The reason could be that people aren’t reporting most crimes.

On the other hand, a country with a higher crime rate might boast a lower rate than other countries. The reason the crime rate may look higher is that people trust the police entirely. Therefore, they have no fear of reporting crimes in detail.

What is considered as crime:

Another reason comparing the UK and US crime rate are what both regions view as a crime. For instance, what the UK considers a crime might be legal in the US, and vice versa. Examples include alcohol, drug use, and jaywalking, including libel laws.

There are jaywalking laws in the US, making this act a crime. The offense could be considered a misdemeanor or an infraction. And the fine for jaywalking-related violations is almost the same as a parking ticket.

Jaywalking in the UK is not recognized as a crime. Pedestrians are allowed to make their own decisions on when and when not to cross the road.

The difference in landmass: 

The United States of America boasts different states. While the UK, on the one hand, boasts different countries. The US boasts a massive landmass, and each state has an entirely different crime rate. The type of crime in Alabama and Ohio, or the various cities in these two states, could be entirely different.

For instance, there could be acid attacks in Alabama and none of such in Ohio. The UK, which consists of different countries, also has varied regional crime rates.

Therefore, comparing crime rates in the UK and US might be a bit difficult. Doing so could hide a range of differences. The only way such a comparison might be possible is when one decides to consider crimes common to both regions. An example is when you compare homicide or robbery crime rates in the UK to the US.


This UK crime rate vs. US comparison should put the confusion regarding which region is safer to rest. On homicide rate, reports show that the US boasts the highest. The news is also the same in robbery crime rates. The US boasts the highest robbery crime rate when you compare both regions.

But keep in mind that there’s nothing worth celebrating about crime. Crime doesn’t pay. It only brings shame and pain. So, it is best to desist from crime. And remember, this crime rate comparison does not make either regions or their citizens a laughing stock. It’s for information purposes. With effort from law enforcement and the citizens, crime can reduce drastically in any area.

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