News this week that I live in the most violent borough in Britain induced a slight frisson of unwarranted pride, I'm afraid. Unwarranted because I've lived here since 1995 without once having been the victim of crime, excepting being defrauded by my bank (which took a County Court summons to solve). Mine is typical of several wealthy inner London boroughs; three or four massive council estates separated by swathes of middle-class Victorian terraces, two or three town centres and a score or more tube, rail and DLR stations. The violence happens around the council estates and town centres late at night, when we gentrifiers are either abed or on our way home from the opera to our safe local station. The last burglary in my street was in 1997. Then there was the prolonged shouty incident of 2001, in which two black women spent twenty minutes verbally abusing eachother over a distance of fifty metres. Despite a keen middle-class audience peering from every window they declined to fight, however. Life in Britain's most dangerous borough is, er, safe, unworrying and comfortable. So where did all the crime go? Look at the graphics below;
Since the turn of the century, crime has plummeted everywhere. Andrew Rawnsley writes in the Observer today seeking the reasons why, and finding multiple credible answers but no single cause. And there is no correlation whatsoever between the number of police officers and levels of crime. Nor has it risen again since 2008, as predicted (wrongly) on this blog and elsewhere.
Are the buggers putting bromide in the tea or something?