Crack cocaine and terrorism drive 39 per cent rise in killings in England and Wales in three years with each violent death costing society £3.2m
- Between 2015 and 2018, murder and manslaughter in the UK soared by 39%
- In London, knife homicides doubled from the year ending March 2017 to 2018
- The research found short spikes in homicides often seem to be linked to ‘destabilisation of illicit drug markets’
Drugs and terrorism have driven the recent rise in homicides – with each killing costing society an estimated £3.2 million, according to a new report.
The rate of murders and manslaughters in England and Wales soared by 39 per cent between the year ending March 2015 and 2018, to a higher point than at any time between 1900 and 1970, Home Office research found.
There were four times as many homicide deaths in the year ending March 31 2018 as those resulting from terror attacks since 1980.
Drug-related cases accounted for about half of the homicide increase between the years ending March 2015 and 2018, a new report has found (file image)
And in London, knife homicides doubled from the year ending March 2017 to the following year.
A paper published on Thursday, titled ‘trends and drivers of homicide’ said the rise, following a downward trend between 2002 and 2014, was driven by drug-related cases and terrorism cases.
‘Drug-related cases accounted for about half of the homicide increase between the years ending March 2015 and 2018,’ it said.
‘Terrorism cases accounted for 15 per cent of the increase and corporate manslaughter cases 3 per cent.
‘The increase has also been partly driven by cases in which no suspect has been identified.’
Police and emergency services at the scene of a terrorist attack on London Bridge in central London on November 29 last year. Five people were stabbed, two fatally by attacker Usman Khan
The research found short spikes in homicides often seem to be linked to ‘destabilisation of illicit drug markets’ with a relatively small group drawn into a pattern of violence ‘due to gang beef or competition related to a change in supply or demand of illicit drugs’.
The peak in the early 2000s came at a time ‘a select group of mainly Jamaican sellers came to the UK following aggressive enforcement to expel them from the US,’ the report said.
It added: ‘A similar rise in crack-cocaine use has occurred since 2014, in line with the recent homicide surge.’
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