London's murder rate tops New York's for first time

London’s murder rate has topped New York City’s for the first time in the modern era, according to The Sunday Times, as an apparent surge in knife crime in the UK capital has coincided with crime dipping in the biggest U.S. city.

While the cities have similar populations of about 8.7 and 8.6 million respectively, the same Sunday Times report cites that London’s crime rate has risen by 38 percent since 2014, excluding those killed in terrorist attacks. The New York rate has decreased historically, by nearly 90 percent, with rates not seen since the 1950s, according to The New York Times. In both February and March, London reported more murders than New York.

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The news comes as two unrelated shootings, involving a 17-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy, occurred two miles apart in London on Monday night. Two men also died in separate knife related incidents on Wednesday night in Hackney, east London. On Thursday evening, seven people were injured in stabbings across London in five separate incidents. According to a January 2018 local government report, gun crime offences rose over the past three years in London.

“In the 12 months to October 2017, there were over 2,500 offences involving guns: a 16 per cent increase on the previous year and a 44 per cent increase on 2014,” stated the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee report.

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London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has previously criticized social media platforms for stoking violence and called for more to be done. “It makes [violence] faster, it makes it harder for people to cool down. I’m sure it does rev people up,” she said in an interview with The Times on Saturday. Last month, the UK government announced a new £1.35m advertising campaign targeting teens on social media about knife violence.

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