Review of 2012

The number of homicides in London fell by nearly 20 per cent from last year – with 97 victims compared to 117 in 2011 (Note this was later increased to 99 – see update below).

This continuing decrease in the murder rate – despite budget cuts in the police force – brings it down to levels not seen since the 1960s.

Nearly four out of five victims were male (75 out of 97). Only eight of the 97 were teenagers, compared to 15 in 2011.

Six victims were killed with guns (down from 13 in 2011) and 43 with knives (down from 57 in 2011). Most of the remaining victims were killed with no weapon (i.e. manual strangulation, punches, kicks). One victim was stabbed with a broken glass and another died after being mauled by a dog.

Here’s a chart of the homicides for each month – the average was just over eight.

The borough with the most homicides in 2012 was Croydon with seven. Of the ‘improving boroughs’, Lambeth went from 11 in 2011 to four in 2012, while Tower Hamlets decreased from nine to three and Bexley from five to one. The City of Westminster’s total jumped up from one to five.

At present only 12 of the 97 cases (12.4 per cent) remain ‘unsolved’ in the sense that nobody has yet been charged (or arrested overseas on a warrant).

This pie chart gives the totals for each borough (including the City of London):

Asked by murdermap for a comment on the decrease in homicides, DCS Hamish Campbell, head of homicide investigations at Scotland Yard, said: “It is always encouraging to see a drop in the number of homicides and serious crime. We liaise with many agencies in the course of our work, and the co-operation we receive from the community is vital in driving down these types of offences.

“The Metropolitan Police will continue to be rigorous in the detection and investigation of murders in the capital.”

UPDATE: On January 23 DCI Campbell gave a fuller response to the Evening Standard giving the official Met Police figures of 99 homicides in 2012.

Read Safe London – murder rate hits 42 year low – Evening Standard

NOTE: We had originally counted 95 homicides: Since then we have added the case of Delores Smith (December 27) and Douglas Hutchinson (December 13, suspect originally charged with attempted murder).

NOTE UPDATE (Jan 2014): Two further homicides for 2012 were later added, making a total of 99.