Violent Crime Rates Fall in England and Wales
According to a study conducted by a team at Cardiff University, violent crime has fallen dramatically in England and Wales over the past 13 years, and it might have something to do with fewer people binge drinking.
Examining data collected from almost 120 A&Es, NHS walk-in centres and minor injury units from 2013, the study suggested a fall of 12% in violent incidents since the year before – or at least, people being treated for injuries from violence. This means 32,800 fewer people than last year were thought to be involved in an incident of violence with another person.
The results from last year mean a decrease in violent injuries has been recorded every year for the last five consecutive years, and the 11th year such results were found since 2001 – 2008 being the only year since then that witnessed a rise in violent injuries being treated.
The biggest falls were also seen to be among youths and young people, between the ages of 18 and 30. Because of this, the authors of the study think that fewer people binge drinking might play a role in the figures. Alcohol prices have been rising since 2008, leading many people not drinking as much as they were when drinks were more affordable. It has also been found that a higher number of younger people are deciding to avoid drinking altogether.
“Continuing, substantial decreases in serious violence are welcome for citizens, communities and in combating the fear of crime,” declared lead study author Professor Jonathan Shepherd. He added that costs to health services and the criminal justice system have been reduced, as well as late night and weekend pressures placed on Accident and Emergencies.
Professor Shepherd explained that the same trend of reduction in violence and also binge drinking has been witnessed across Western countries, and said it could be possible that some of the people most prone to such incidents (young men between the ages of 18 and 30) do not have as much disposable income.
The results of the study mimic those of other research, such as the Crime Survey for England and Wales, of which people are interviewed about their experiences of crimes even if they haven’t wanted to get the police involved. Even police-recorded crimes have shown a long-term fall in violent offences.
Ultimately, all of these results combine to say the same thing: violent crime rates have been falling for more than a decade, with the occasional anomaly, and alcohol prices have been rising. Coincidence? Maybe. But it does mean that anyone going out on the town is more likely to enjoy a violence-free evening than ten years ago, and if the trend continues, even more so in the years to come.