Gun crime in England

John Ray left a rather odd comment to my post about the continuing decrease in violent crime in England. He stated that police figures for gun crimes will be more accurate than survey figures. His statement is probably true (gun crime in England is too rare to be well measured by a survey), but not relevant to my post, which was about the decline in violent crime, and not about gun crime.

For those interested in gun crime, the statistics show that in 2003/4 police recorded about 10,000 firearms offence in England and Wales. Some of the subcategories showed decreases—for example, firearms robberies fell 13%, firearms homicides fell 15%, handgun crimes fell 7%; while others increased—for example, serious crimes of violence involving firearms rose 6% and firearms offences with slight injury rose 11%. Overall, there was no change in the total number of firearms offences.

However, after he posted his comment Ray posted this on his blog:

Gun control at work: The full scale of law and order breakdown in Britain was revealed last night. Gun crime has soared by 35 per cent, …. In the 12 months to March last year there were 9,974 offences involving firearms. Handgun use rose by 45 per cent, said official Government statistics. The figure has doubled since the post-Dunblane ban on such weapons from 2,636 in 1998 to 5,871… But the Government shrugged off the shock figures… The number of males murdered in shootings was up 41 per cent this year…. Paul Hampson of the Association of Chief Police Officers added: “The rise in gun offences concerns us all.”… The number of gun crimes recorded in London was 4,192 versus 2,817 in the previous year.

How could Ray report that gun crime has soared when it was actually stable? The answer is that instead of following the link I provided to the current statistics, Ray has searched until he has found a newspaper article that reported an increase. An article from January 2003 reporting on the figures from two years ago. In his post Ray neglects to tell his readers how old the report is, misleading them by making it appear that gun crime has been increasing in England when, in fact, it is stable.

Update: Ray has a new post where, apparently oblivious to his previous post and all previous discussion he links to same article again and asks:

What about the crimes that are reported but NOT recorded

Well, that’s why figures from crime surveys are more accurate.

Comments

  1. #1 Terry Josiah
    August 8, 2004

    “Total crime in England and Wales is up 9.3 per cent.
    But the Government shrugged off the shock figures and blamed new police methods of recording crime where incidents seen by officers are logged even if they have not been reported.”
    Crime is up. If gun bans work why is crime up?
    As usual, Lambert, who is fucking nuts, sticks his head up his ass, and denies the obvious.
    That is why Lambert works for a university, a state institution. He would be fired in a private company because his is mentally disturbed and an asshole to boot.

  2. #2 Fed up brit
    August 8, 2004

    Well argued Terry. Im impressed. Not at your argument, but your skill at typing through a straightjacket……

  3. #3 Fed up brit
    August 8, 2004

    Oh and incidentally, there is no gun ban in the UK. There are something like 3 million licensed, perfectly legal firearms in private ownership. before you chew yourself to death on your petted lip, try getting basic facts right. Until then, may I suggest you channel your bitterness and aggression into something that doesn’t make you look a total idiot.

  4. #4 Terry Josiah
    August 8, 2004

    No Fed up brit there is a ban. Go and try and buy a Glock 30. Its a ten shot .45 calibor, compact.
    You can’t. There is a gun ban. Don’t lie. It leads to mental sickness.
    You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts schmuck.
    Crime is down in the US, since you have shit for brains, that is something you cannot comprehend.
    Asshole.

  5. #5 Terry Josiah
    August 8, 2004

    Fed up brit, why didn’t you answer my first post?
    If gun bans work, why is crime up in Britain and not down?
    Answer it asshole.

  6. #6 Tim Lambert
    August 8, 2004

    Too bad for your argument that violent crime has actually gone down. Try to pay more attention next time.

  7. #7 John Ray
    August 8, 2004

    As far as my comment is concerned, you and your readers ignore my concluding statement that I don’t trust ANY crime statistics except reported homicides and to a lesser extent reported gun crimes. So my comment questioned the relevance of Tim’s post.

    As far as my posting on my blog is concerned, it is mere ego of Tim to link it to my comments about his post. There is nothing to show that the two were related and they were not. The post was headed “gun control at work” and the interest in those circumstances was obviously the trend since Dunblane (which I specificall mentioned) even if crime did plateau last year. Tim’s attempt to judge trends from just one year is infantile.

  8. #8 John Ray
    August 8, 2004

    As far as my comment is concerned, you and your readers ignore my concluding statement that I don’t trust ANY crime statistics except reported homicides and to a lesser extent reported gun crimes. So my comment questioned the relevance of Tim’s post.

    As far as my posting on my blog is concerned, it is mere ego of Tim to link it to my comments about his post. There is nothing to show that the two were related and they were not. The post was headed “gun control at work” and the interest in those circumstances was obviously the trend since Dunblane (which I specificall mentioned) even if crime did plateau last year. Tim’s attempt to judge trends from just one year is infantile.

  9. #9 John Ray
    August 8, 2004

    As far as my comment is concerned, you and your readers ignore my concluding statement that I don’t trust ANY crime statistics except reported homicides and to a lesser extent reported gun crimes. So my comment questioned the relevance of Tim’s post.

    As far as my posting on my blog is concerned, it is mere ego of Tim to link it to my comments about his post. There is nothing to show that the two were related and they were not. The post was headed “gun control at work” and the interest in those circumstances was obviously the trend since Dunblane (which I specificall mentioned) even if crime did plateau last year. Tim’s attempt to judge trends from just one year is infantile.

  10. #10 John Ray
    August 8, 2004

    As far as my comment is concerned, you and your readers ignore my concluding statement that I don’t trust ANY crime statistics except reported homicides and to a lesser extent reported gun crimes. So my comment questioned the relevance of Tim’s post.

    As far as my posting on my blog is concerned, it is mere ego of Tim to link it to my comments about his post. There is nothing to show that the two were related and they were not. The post was headed “gun control at work” and the interest in those circumstances was obviously the trend since Dunblane (which I specificall mentioned) even if crime did plateau last year. Tim’s attempt to judge trends from just one year is infantile.

  11. #11 Tim Lambert
    August 8, 2004

    In fact, your comment questioned whether surveys could measure gun crimes accurately (“If gun crime is concentrated…”). You did not and have not given any reasons why surveys cannot measure violent crime rates more accurately than police reports.

    You are actually claiming that it was a coincidence that a few hours after you left a comment about gun crime in England, you made a post about gun crime in England? If you say so, but my point was that my post provided you with a link to a primary source and instead you used a out-of-date secondary source. This is, at best, poor scholarship.

    If you think judging trends from one year is infantile, why did you do it? From your post: “Gun crime has soared by 35 per cent” – that’s a one year trend. “Handgun use rose by 45 per cent” – that’s a one year trend. – “The number of males murdered in shootings was up 41 per cent this year” – that’s a one year trend. “The number of gun crimes recorded in London was 4,192 versus 2,817 in the previous year” – that’s a one year trend.

    If you want to learn about longer trends, you should see my earlier posts.

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