The final crime figures for 2008 are out now, which allows us to complete our graph for the year and show a continuing decline in the London murder rate starting in early 2005.


The total for the month of December was 8, which is historically tiny.  However, you may remember this comment on last month’s statistics from ‘Prof Plod':

According to this webiste:
which provides a breakdown of the 12 homocides in November by borough, there were no murders in Brent during November.
But what about this one:

shome mishtake shurely

Well quite.  I said at the time that if this murder in Brent in late November wasn’t in December’s figures questions would have to be asked.  Well, it isn’t (there have been no murders in the figures for Brent since the murder happened) – therefore we have questions to ask.  Being a single borough, we can probably match reported murders to statistics without too much difficulty, so would anyone like to do some Googling and try and find matches for the following month’s figures:

  • January – 1
  • February – 0
  • March – 2
  • April – 2
  • May – 1
  • June – 1
  • July – 0
  • August – 0
  • September – 1
  • October – 1
  • November – 0
  • December – 0

Now, that’s 9 in total, while the website reports 8 for the year.  Moreover, the running total I’ve been keeping over the year often differs from the counts in the individual spreadsheets for each month (non-trivially – 5 fewer in May, 4 more in September, 6 more overall).

Given that, it’s pretty clear that we have to go back and ask whether the whole business of publishing crime statistics has a solid foundation – my assumption that they’d at least get the murders right is looking a bit shaky.

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