Lyndon Davis, 18, was found suffering from a single stab wound in Chadwell Heath on March 14 and he died from the wounds he sustained from the attack. Stabbings in London are at their highest level in six years / Photo: Courtesy of Met Police

London’s murder rate overtakes New York’s for first time in history

A spike in violent crime in London saw more murders committed in the city in February and March than there were in New York, new figures show.

London’s monthly murder rate has overtaken New York City’s for the first time in modern history, according to new figures from the Metropolitan Police and the New York Police Department.

In February, 15 people were murdered in London, against 14 in New York. But in March, London had 22 murders, slightly more than the 21 in New York, according to London Metropolitan Police figures that have not yet been officially released

For the year 2018 so far, London still has fewer killings than New York, 46 compared to 50.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office said it was “deeply concerned” by the latest figures of knife crime in the capital, but insisted that London “remains one of the safest [cities] in the world.”

New York and London have similar-size populations of around 8.5 million each. But the U.S. city’s murder rate has dropped dramatically, by about 87 percent, since its peak in the 1990s.

London’s murder rate has in contrast risen by 38 percent since 2014 when the city had 94 killings. There were 119 murders in 2015, 109 in 2016 and 134 in 2017. Despite the findings, a spokesperson of the Metropolitan Police Force (Met) said “London remains one of the safest cities in the world.”

“The Met is concerned at the increase in murders in London, and specialist detectives from the Met’s homicide and major crime command are investigating,” they added.

“One murder is one too many, and we are working hard with our partners to understand the increase and what we can all do to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place.”

Austin Ohaegbu

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