London Passes New York City in Murders for First Time Ever

London police
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April 2, 2018

Amid a spate of knifings, London's monthly murder rate has surpassed New York City's for the first time since consistent records have been kept.

Fifteen died in London in February, the Independent reported, compared with 14 in New York City in the same month. In March, London saw 22 fatal stabbings and shootings, compared to 21 in New York.

London remains the safer city overall, based on its much lower murder rate in 2017. But while New York's murder rate has steadily declined since the 1990s, dropping 87 percent overall, London's has spiked. Over the past three years, it has seen an increase of nearly 40 percent, not counting deaths from terror attacks.

Much of London's boom in murders comes from a surge in knifing incidents. The 30th incident of fatal knife violence happened Saturday, when a 36-year-old woman was stabbed to death in the city. Last Thursday, a 23-year-old man was fatally stabbed in the neck in south-east London.

A recent Independent analysis found that fatal stabbings are happening in London every three days, driven by a resurgence of conflict between the city's gangs. Fatal stabbings in England and Wales grew by 12 percent in 2017, and are now at their highest level since 2011.

A spokesperson for the London Metropolitan police told the Independent that his department is concerned about the unexpected murder increase.

"London remains one of the safest cities in the world," the spokesperson said. "The Met is concerned at the increase in murders in London, and specialist detectives from the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command are investigating."

"One murder is one to many, and we are working hard with our partners to understand the increase and what we can all do to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place."