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Wednesday, August 19, 1998 Published at 03:32 GMT 04:32 UK


UK cities low in murder 'league'

The Metropolitan Police win praise for making London a safer place to live

Murder rates in UK capitals are among the lowest in the world, according to a report from the British Government.

Lisa Holland reports on where you are most likely to be killed
London leads the way, ranked in the bottom five in a survey of 20 European and nine North American cities with just 2.1 cases of murder, infanticide or manslaughter per 100,000 inhabitants.

[ image: Washington, the centre of US law enforcement, comes top]
Washington, the centre of US law enforcement, comes top
Belfast was the most dangerous UK city in the survey with a rate of 4.4, compared with Edinburgh at 2.4.

But this was far short of Washington DC with a huge 69.3 murders per 100,000 people - more than 30 times higher than London's rate.

Second place went to Philadelphia with a rate of 27.4 while the European city with the worst record was Moscow with 18.1.

Met Police's 'great contribution'

[ image:  ]
The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, said it was one league table in which the UK was happy to fall near the bottom.

He said: "Few people I think would have guessed that both Amsterdam (7.7) and Lisbon (9.7) have murder rates over three times higher than that of London.

"Moreover despite the impact of zero tolerance policies, New York City's homicide rate - at 16.8 - is eight times London's.

"These figures help show the great contribution of the Metropolitan Police Service to making London a relatively safe place in which to live."

In contrast the city with the lowest murder rate was the Belgian capital Brussels with just 0.4 murders per 100,000 of population.

The other cities with a lower rate than London were Dublin (1.9), Vienna (1.8), Rome (1.7) and Athens (1.4).

Sara Jones, a spokeswoman for the Home Office which published the survey, said the it compared cases over a two-year period.

For some countries, the data was taken from 1994 to 1996 while others used data from 1995 to 1997.

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