This post tries to set London homicide statistics in context using publicly available data going back to 1990.
The basic figures for homicides (including both murder and manslaughter) over this period show a peak in around 2003, which is similar to that seen in England and Wales as a whole.
Homicides then fall quickly until around 2011 before a surge in 2017.
The chart shows figures for the Metropolitan Police and City of London (hover over the bars to see a breakdown). It does not include the small number of cases each year which might be recorded by the British Transport Police (e.g. murders at railway stations), as they are only available for the BTP as a whole (covering England, Wales and Scotland). Note also that there was a change from recording by calendar year to financial year in 1998.
London’s population over this period has grown from around seven million to nearly nine million. The breakdown by age shows (Stats via datacommons.org) that this growth hasn’t been consistent but doesn’t really help explain the rise, fall and rise again in the number of homicides.
Another good source of data from 2003 onwards is available via the London datastore. This post will be amended in the coming weeks to include a basic look at the breakdown by sex, age range and ethnicity of victim, method of killing and solved/unsolved.
Notes: The first chart combines the Office for National Statistics historical crime data with the most recent ONS Homicide bulletin, which has a breakdown of homicides by police force area in the appendix tables.
See also our previous post on homicides in England and Wales from 1898).