Sunday, January 31, 2010

LA's Fine, The Sun Shines Most The Time

... and the feeling is laid back ?

All depends on where you live.

And your age.


and ethnicity.

I must give 'props' to the LA Times for the Homicide Report, a terrific resource started as a blog by a lone LA Times journalist, Jill Leovy, and now put together in conjunction with the Annenberg School of Journalism- would that such a resource existed for the UK, which has around the same number of murders per annum as LA. Someone did start this, and the UK police have created this, but I've failed in two days of trying (with a 750K ADSL connection) to get any of the maps to actually load - after about ten minutes I give up. Looks like the work of Rock Kitchen Harris is in the best tradition of state-funded computer projects.

Interesting Homicide Report FAQ here.

Mind, the Annenberg School either need a new Managing Editor or a decent subeditor, judging by their announcement.

Alan Mittelstaedt, managing editor of Annenberg Digital News, which publishes Neon Tommy, said Khouri’s recent article in The Times is a prime example of how this partnership can work.

It was as good of a story as a 15-year veteran at a newspaper could have done,” Mittelstaedt said.

While we're on the subject of homicide rates, Harry Hutton pointed out a while back that they'd be much higher were it not for medical advances. This New England Journal of Medicine piece looks at military survival rates (30% of WW2 wounded die as against 10% Iraq wounded).

And this Wayback-retrieved Canberra Times article quotes a British Medical Journal piece (it gives the reference) :

"The latest British Medical Journal draws a different link between medicine and murder, arguing medical advances mask an epedemic of violence by cutting the homicide rate. In the September issue Roger Dodson says murder rates would be up to five times higher without medical developments during the past 40 years"

Medical advances mask epidemic of violence by cutting murder rate

Roger Dobson

BMJ September 2002; 325: 615.

There's also this at the delightfully named Killology site, which does exactly what it says on the tin.

Since 1957 in the US, the per capita aggravated assault rate (which is, essentially, the rate of attempted murder) has gone up nearly sevenfold, while the per capita murder rate has less than doubled. Vast progress in medical technology since 1957 to include everything from mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, to the national "9-1-1" emergency telephone system, to medical technology advances is the reason for this disparity.


staybryte said...


The way surgical advances have held back the murder rate is a bit of a hobby horse of mine. I posted the following on CiF a while back on the subject

"During the Civil War and late 1800s, penetrating abdominal wounds were managed expectantly and were nearly uniformly fatal. Laparotomy became the treatment of choice during World War I but still with high mortality. By World War II, early laparotomy resulted in a survival rate close to 50%. The 1950s afforded availability of antimicrobials, better understanding of fluid replacement, and faster transport from the scene, which further increased survival rates. By the late 1950s, mandatory laparotomy was the rule for the management of patients with abdominal penetrating trauma. Since the 1960s, mortality rates of 9.5-12.7% for civilian gunshot wounds and as low as 3.6% for stab wounds have been reported in the United States."

Obviously there are a lot of variables at play and the information above also takes in gunshot wounds, but I'd say a reduction in death rates from circa 100% to as low as 3.6% is pretty significant. There is a wealth of info out there about improved survival rates from trauma injuries, much of it from the military

End of CiF post. If surgical expertise had remained static in the last fifty years a fivefold increase in the murder rate would be a very conservative estimate IMO.

Anonymous said...

I notice that nearly all teenagers murdered in London were from Ethnic minorities. I wonder percentage of all UK murders are carried by minorities. I think around 50?% given that most murders are committed in large cities, London, Manchester, Birmingham, etc.

Laban said...

Anon - I don't think it's anything like 50%. You forget for example the large number of "domestics" which often do not make national news.

Take a look at table 3.6 in the pdf linked to by this post

Over a 3 year period

1,613 murders where principal suspect was white (Harold Shipman had 172 of those)
252 where suspect black
155 Asian
88 'other'
55 not known

so it's more like 22%

Anonymous said...

Laban, your 'white' statistic doesn't necessarily mean English or British.
So doesn't refute the previous Anon's conjecture.

Anonymous said...

An interesting statistic be the degree to which murder crosses racial lines.

I suspect most white murderers are killing other whites, while most blacks are killed by other blacks.

However I have strong suspicion that blacks killing whites is more common than the reverse both per capita and in raw numbers. For all of those of us who have fully internalized our cultural Marxism, we can relax, at least its not racism.

AgainsTTheWall said...

Laban, your 'white' statistic doesn't necessarily mean English or British,

Indeed. For starters, the aforementioned Dr Shipman was Jewish.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. For starters, the aforementioned Dr Shipman was Jewish.

Red Line alert!

Anonymous said...

no, he was from a Methodist family?

Anonymous said...

I think the percentage of Ethnic murders is a good bit higher than 22%. After about 95% of homicides in London are committed by 'minorities'. And London probably has about 20-25% of the national total.

Not long ago The Times had an article which quoted a Met report that said 55% of London murders were committed by foreigners, a category that does not include British born blacks/Asians.

You are right about domestic killings making up large percentage of UK murders but even there I would think that Muslims, in particular are 'over- represented'.

50% might be too high but not by much.

M. Möhling said...