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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Double-damned lies and comparative statistics

It's not as if government statistics weren't already unreliable, but this mea culpa demonstrates why you should look very, very, very skeptically at any argument that compares the statistics from one country with the statistics from another.  Even with something as superficially straightforward as the murder rate, they simply cannot be trusted at face value:
I have frequently in this series referred to the English murder rates as historically low and currently very low compared to US murder rates.  I blandly accepted the murder statistics published by the UK Home Office as definitive.  I overlooked the details of what and how the English counted "murders." It turns out that was a big mistake.  (I was first turned onto my error by this post at Extrano's Alley.)

I fell into a definitions trap you may not be aware of. The shortest version is this. We count and report crimes based on initial data. The Brits count and report crimes based on the outcome of the investigation and trial. Yep, that says what I meant it to say.

In the US, the count of people murdered kept by the FBI is pretty darned straightforward. Got a body, not natural causes, not suicide? Must be murder of one sort or another. Count it.

So, if you ask the FBI, they will tell you that for 2011 there were 14,022 murders or non-negligent manslaughters.  On the same line of that chart, they tell us the population was 292,364,075 which gives us a "murder" rate of 4.8 per 100,000 population. Those counts are based on crimes reported by local police agencies.  They say nothing about the clearance rate, nor if anyone was ever identified or charged or convicted or whatever.  Body, not natural, not negligent, homicide.  Duh.

Now, on to England. It turns out that the Home office is very restrictive in what they report as "murders."  Still, looking at the detailed report for 2010/2011 the Home office tells us that in the reporting period there were 636 murders "provisionally recorded" for a murder rate of 1.15 per 100,000 --- less than 1/3 the murder rate in the US.  (See page 16 of the source document)

I've reported these numbers blindly many times, and quoted sources with many (sometimes silly) explanations for the lower murder rate in the UK. There's a problem with that as it turns out. What about all those murders which were not solved? The ones where a conviction wasn't gotten? The ones where the appeals are still on-going? Not only that, but when exactly were these homicides performed?

"Since 1967, homicide figures for England and Wales have been adjusted to exclude any cases which do not result in conviction"

OOOoooooops.  We're not comparing apples to apples, we're comparing apples to meatloaf. 
Keep this in mind the next time you hear someone extolling the wonders of gun laws in the UK or the excellent performance of the Scandinavian health care system.  It's possible the statistics are relevant.  But then again, it is entirely possible that they are not.

Labels:

68 Comments:

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother August 08, 2013 10:00 AM  

OMG

Anonymous Josh August 08, 2013 10:03 AM  

So what do they call the homicides that don't result in a conviction?

Anonymous Krul August 08, 2013 10:05 AM  

I believe you exposed a similar situation with regards to infant mortality statistics used to argue in favor of collectivized healthcare in TIA.

Anonymous Sigyn August 08, 2013 10:09 AM  

Shameless plug: His Lordship wrote about numbers games back in March:

"I understand you can also improve your medical services and decrease your infant mortality rate by simply not counting the infants who die within three days of birth."

Internal link is relevant to "Scandinavian health care".

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 August 08, 2013 10:12 AM  

Wonder how often UK homicides perpetrated by Muslims are never prosecuted just so they won't show up in the statistics.
I'd say let's look at the data, but...

Blogger James Dixon August 08, 2013 10:14 AM  

> So what do they call the homicides that don't result in a conviction?

Probably just "unexplained" deaths.

Anonymous Anonymous August 08, 2013 10:15 AM  

Fantastic work by Rick. Honestly that article is the caliber of reporting you would expect out of a 1st tier professional journalist, but they are too busy sitting on their fat behinds being spoon-fed at press conferences. If nothing else it should be published in NRA media.

- Azimus

Anonymous Josh August 08, 2013 10:23 AM  

Probably just "unexplained" deaths.

Old chap, I do believe that's a body over there in the gutter!

A body? How did it get there?

You think it was a murder?

I don't see any murderers around here. Whodunit?

Well if there's no murderer, this can't be a murder, and this poor devil couldn't have been murdered. It's all quite logical, don't you see?

Quite logical indeed!

Well, we'll have to give it a name.

Instead of a murder, it must be an unidentified mostly terminal incident. Or UMTI.

UMTI. Brilliant!

Brilliant!

Anonymous J August 08, 2013 10:24 AM  

So what do they call the homicides that don't result in a conviction?

The same thing they call premature babies who die.

Unperson! Not a live birth! Doesn't count!

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/276952/infant-mortality-deceptive-statistic-scott-w-atlas

Blogger buzzardist August 08, 2013 10:33 AM  

In addition to the problem that unsolved crimes are not counted in the official statistics in Britain, but simply treated as non-events, Britain also has a tendency of recording multiple events as single ones in the statistics. This article from a little over a decade ago gives some details:

http://web.archive.org/web/20110214173410/http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/3/21/205139.shtml

Never underestimate the desire of government officials to massage statistics to make it appear that the country is doing better than it was. For Britain, there was a considerable desire to keep burgeoning crime rates under wraps because it would call into question the sense of the gun ban, the loose immigration policy, or both.

There are all manners of tricks to be used in manipulating statistics, and these multiply when said statistics are then compared across countries. The more variables in a study, the more likely the statistical output is to be, at best, random noise or, at worst, a result that is the function of the statistical processes and not the data, such that inputting any data set would produce the same results. Medical researchers in the last few years have begun to complain of this problem in their statistical analyses, and the problem is rife across the social sciences, too. I'd not be surprised to see similar criticisms hit the interpretation of crime statistics, too.

Anonymous Sigyn August 08, 2013 10:33 AM  

J, you plagiarist! I done linked that!

*prod with skillet*

Blogger Trust August 08, 2013 10:33 AM  

I would say the scariest statistic would be "homicides - convictions" as it would indicate both how many murderers are free and how inept the justice system is.

Similarly, when my twins were born 2 months premature, we learned that if they died they would be counted in infant mortality rates whereas in counties with goverment health care they would not be.

One of the many reasons socialism tends to win in the end. They end up making the rules in law, news, education, reporting, etc., and make themselves look better than freer countries.

Anonymous patrick kelly August 08, 2013 10:33 AM  

Curious how some of the comments immediately appeal to the authority of the UN as a "reputable" source. Apparently If Rick's analysis differs from theirs he must be wrong.

Nevertheless, point taken about comparing murder charge and conviction rates for a better "apples to apples" comparison. My guess is it would only make Rick's case stronger but dunno.....

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 August 08, 2013 10:35 AM  

If Alex Jones had this information when he went on Pier Morgan's show...

Anonymous patrick kelly August 08, 2013 10:36 AM  

Is "commenter" really not a word? It has to be "commentator"? English, what a language....

Anonymous Sigyn August 08, 2013 10:40 AM  

Curious how some of the comments immediately appeal to the authority of the UN as a "reputable" source.

I wonder how many of them have a "Question authority" bumper sticker?

Blogger JohnG August 08, 2013 10:41 AM  

I've seen other commentary that suggested if we factored out the minority gang-banger related killings then our murder rate is lower than the UK's. Which makes me wonder, since I don't know that much about the UK, they obviously have drug problems and gangs, why don't they kill each other as frequently? Or is it that the percentage of minorities is significantly smaller than what we have here?

Anonymous rycamor August 08, 2013 10:42 AM  

Love how the Europeans, especially the Brits, keep holding themselves up as so much more honest than we sleazy car salesmen Americans.

Blogger Some dude August 08, 2013 10:43 AM  

Wait a minute, so what is the real homicide rate in England? Anyone know?

Anonymous Anonymous August 08, 2013 10:45 AM  

Not to pick nits with the source article, but wouldn't the American population in 2011 have been closer to the 310-315 million mark, making the homicide rate (as we calculate it), closer to 4.5%? Not a big difference, but still.

Anonymous Catan August 08, 2013 10:46 AM  

Absolutely effing priceless.

Apparently the Progressive religious dogma of "perception is reality" not only applies to brainwashing individuals' outlooks on life, but to observing reality itself as well.

Perhaps they actually believe that if they create the impression of low crime, it will actually lower crime? Wouldn't surprise me one bit. Their tendency to excuse deceit in the name of some "awareness raising" scheme knows no bounds.

Anonymous Anonymous August 08, 2013 10:47 AM  

Another question - does this same statistical tomfoolery apply to other European countries as well? In other words, are Belgium and Sweden doing the same thing that the UK is?

Anonymous Catan August 08, 2013 10:47 AM  

Actually, it's probably closer to "making socialist countries look better statistically then evil capitalist countries will help us wedge in our ideology, which will be better for the world anyway, so lying is okay!"

Anonymous TJIC August 08, 2013 10:47 AM  

Disaggregation is a bitch.

More generally, it is really REALLY hard to compare data between sets. I recall reading that Japan's murder rate is likewise computed differently than in the US. Here, if a man flips out and kills his wife and two kids, then himself, that's three murders and one suicide. There, it's four suicides.

Blogger A August 08, 2013 10:48 AM  

This reminds me of Japan's supposedly stellar police force that almost always solves a crime, except for all those unsolved ones that are never recorded in the statistics.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 August 08, 2013 10:49 AM  

If Alex Jones had this information when he went on Pier Morgan's show...

He still would have folded like cheap laundry.

Blogger buzzardist August 08, 2013 10:52 AM  

If Alex Jones had this information when he went on Pier Morgan's show...

Larry Pratt, if I recall, presented some very similar criticisms of the U.K. data when he went on Morgan's show. Morgan's response was predictable--"lies...unbelievable...outrageous...lies!!!" Of course, Morgan never went beyond these reactions to explain why Pratt was wrong or why direct comparisons between U.K. and U.S. numbers are statistically meaningful, probably because Morgan would have been in way over his head trying such arguments. Morgan is capable of little more than shouting, "Liar!" at anyone with whom he disagrees.

Blogger buzzardist August 08, 2013 10:58 AM  

This reminds me of Japan's supposedly stellar police force that almost always solves a crime, except for all those unsolved ones that are never recorded in the statistics.

This is probably true of most countries. In the case of a missing person, for example, when the case goes unsolved, should it be recorded as a kidnapping or murder because it's highly unlikely the person committed suicide or ran away, even if there is no firm evidence for a crime? Or what about a mysterious fire that is suspected as arson but cannot be proven as such? Most often, these cases don't get put into crime statistics.

Japan, though, is notorious for its really high confession/conviction rate. Most people (somewhere around 98%) confess. Of course, what Western critics of Japan often fail to note is that the U.S. confession rate is only a few percentage points behind Japan's, which makes America's police and prosecutors look almost as heavy-handed.

Anonymous jay c August 08, 2013 11:02 AM  

I'm sure the numbers in this article can't be trusted either (especially since they are self-contradictory), but this statistic was interesting:

London, while having the highest population in the country, also had the greatest proportion of unsolved murders, with one for every 28,000 people.

1 unsolved murder for every 28,000 people in London? If extrapolated out to the whole country, that would put the unsolved murder rate in the UK almost as high as the total murder rate in the US.

Anonymous jay c August 08, 2013 11:03 AM  

Maybe that's why it took the coppers so long to drive the 2 miles from the police station to the location of that recent beheading. They were hoping the perps would disappear so the murders could remain unsolved. It makes them look better if they don't catch any murderers.

Anonymous Curlytop August 08, 2013 11:09 AM  

Not surprising...

Also, in countries with socialized medicine...the cancer rates are lower bc MRIs take on average 4months to have done on the onset of visiting a doctor due to symptoms. And what is the average wait time to see a doctor when you suspect something's amiss in these countries? So add that time lapse to the wait for confirmation through MRIs and other testing.

It's amazing how low the numbers are when you simply don't allow for a diagnosis in the first place.

Anonymous wcu August 08, 2013 11:24 AM  

Homicides without convictions...dead right there..."DRT"...you see, now we don't have soaring murder rates like our barbaric American Cousins!

Anonymous dh August 08, 2013 11:28 AM  

This is why it is often better to use the broadest scope of the numbers. People love to screw with the count.

Anonymous wcu August 08, 2013 11:32 AM  

Buzzardist, yes and the chinese conviction rate is in the 90s...evil Capitalists! We need to have that blend of asian/european system of govt...then we'll get it right! I wonder what murder rates we would have if abortions were factored in? I forgot, my professor told us that millions of abortions=less murders and lower crime rates...because Freakonomics!

Anonymous Anonymous August 08, 2013 11:35 AM  

Run into the same problem on many fronts. I hear many laud the education systems of many other countries and compare them to the US as a whole. Problem is there are states that beat everyone except Taiwan and Singapore in science. Other states that compete well with the top of Europe. And this is comparing public schools. This doesn't include home schoolers who out shine public school performance on the whole.

In short comparing USA to X is usually a scope error.

Anonymous Randy M August 08, 2013 11:36 AM  

"Here, if a man flips out and kills his wife and two kids, then himself, that's three murders and one suicide. There, it's four suicides."

And in England it is one suicide, zero murders, since there is no one to convict!

Blogger JCclimber August 08, 2013 11:48 AM  

An interesting thing I discovered many years ago doing research into macular degeneration causes....
They had a hard time nailing down that a diet high in bright colored vegetables and low in red meat prevented the onset and severity of the disease.

Took me awhile to discover the reason why they couldn't meet the statistical threshold of 95% CI.....

The high red meat/low vegetable diet people kept dying before the 10 year study conclusion, not enough were surviving into their 70's and 80's to reach the threshold for proper comparison. They were diagnosed with macular degeneration, but not enough were surviving the next 10 years for proper comparison with the ones on a low red meat/high vegetable diet.

Took another 10 years to get enough survivors to be able to conclude that the vegetable diet slowed the onset of Macular degeneration. And of course until they had that magical 95% CI criteria met, they couldn't reach any "scientific conclusions".

Poring through the medical journals for years, I've seen this many times, where a trend is clearly identified, but since it doesn't reach the magical cutoff of "proof", it is never broadcast in the conclusions except as an occasional footnote. Researchers rarely continue a study, instead they are on to other funded research projects.

Anonymous realmatt August 08, 2013 11:56 AM  

Careful JcClimber. The ilk has a tendency to foam at the mouth like pro choice lesbian dykes when you say anything about neat and the human body's difficulty in utilizing its wonderful properties.

Blogger CarpeOro August 08, 2013 11:59 AM  

"So what do they call the homicides that don't result in a conviction?"

Death by natural causes. Lead is natural after all, as is steel. At least not supernatural....

The game of numbers is old hat to people living near Detroit. Murders were reclassified and swept under the rug on a regular basis. Not all of the decline in population over the years was live ones getting away....

Anonymous realmatt August 08, 2013 11:59 AM  

A few years back I tried to find some UK version if the Uniform Crime Report but couldn't. I gave up on their claims at that point. In not at all surprised that a nation that lkws vi time to be sued by criminals for hurting them during their attack lies through the teeth about their crime statistics.

Its like the infant mortality rate. Its impossible to count the death if someone who was never considered alive.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 August 08, 2013 12:02 PM  

Japan, though, is notorious for its really high confession/conviction rate. Most people (somewhere around 98%) confess. Of course, what Western critics of Japan often fail to note is that the U.S. confession rate is only a few percentage points behind Japan's, which makes America's police and prosecutors look almost as heavy-handed.

Or American police and prosecutors, on the whole, are so incompetent that they cannot convict a murderer without said murderer's confession.

Or they are unable to convict as they don't enough evidence. All forensic evidence is, despite what cop shows tell us, circumstantial at best. And you need more than one eye-witness account to avoid reasonable doubt with a jury since a halfway decent defense attorney could easily deconstruct the account of one witness.

Or all these "confessions" are simply plea bargain agreements, which sometimes defendants do because they are afraid of execution or longer prison sentences.

Anonymous Daniel August 08, 2013 12:11 PM  

That study appears to have been missing a control group of high meat/high vegetables, anyhow, JCclimber, unless you just left that off.

And, of course, anorexics who didn't eat anything. Was that because the anorexics died or because they couldn't be found in the U.S.?

Anonymous slowpokefuckfoxface6 August 08, 2013 12:27 PM  

Or American police and prosecutors, on the whole, are so incompetent that they cannot convict a murderer without said murderer's confession.

Who fucking cares, as long as the murderer goes to jail! 80-90% conviction rates, depending upon the location, is solid.


"Or they are unable to convict as they don't enough evidence. All forensic evidence is, despite what cop shows tell us, circumstantial at best."

However, when proved by expert witnesses, circumstantial evidence is usually sufficient to decide a case, especially in the absence of any direct evidence. Furthermore, fingerprint, blood, and DNA evidence found at a crime scene is the prosecutor's best friend.


"Or all these "confessions" are simply plea bargain agreements, which sometimes defendants do because they are afraid of execution or longer prison sentences."

Because they were caught red-handed and/or the evidence is overwhelming and therefore desire a lesser sentence which, depending upon the nature of the crime, they take.

Anonymous zen0 August 08, 2013 12:29 PM  

Ok, how about simple death rate per 1,000 comparison.

CIA factbook says Japan and Uk have one more person die per 1,000 per year than the U.S.

It may not sound like much, but I am sure it is a big deal to that extra guy.

Anonymous Annalitic August 08, 2013 12:32 PM  

Because they were caught red-handed and/or the evidence is overwhelming and therefore desire a lesser sentence which, depending upon the nature of the crime, they take.

That is quite possibly the stupidest and most ignorant thing said in this thread.

Blogger mmaier2112 August 08, 2013 12:45 PM  

No kidding, Daniel. Plus, how many of those high-meat, low-veggie folks were big on processed sugar and grains too?

Blogger Jake August 08, 2013 12:46 PM  

What researchers usually mean by "high red meat, low vegetable" diet is "a diet high in processed food and red meat consumed along with huge portions of refined starches and sugars" Talking about statistical shenanigans, there's no shortage of examples in health and nutrition "science".

Anonymous p-dawg August 08, 2013 12:59 PM  

@Titus: Wouldn't 4.5% of 310,000,000 be 13,950,000?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 August 08, 2013 1:00 PM  

However, when proved by expert witnesses, circumstantial evidence is usually sufficient to decide a case, especially in the absence of any direct evidence. Furthermore, fingerprint, blood, and DNA evidence found at a crime scene is the prosecutor's best friend.

All fingerprint, blood, and DNA proves is that the defendant was in the vicinity of the crime. If it was found on a weapon, for instance, it only means the defendant has handled it. If skin is found under fingernails of the victim, all that means is that the defendant and the victim got into a fight.

Short of a full confession or multiple eyewitness accounts, there is no reason to assume a defendant committed any crime. Circumstantial evidence is usually used more to scare people into confessing. In fact, a common police technique is to produce false circumstantial evidence in order to goad a suspect into a confession during an interrogation.

Ask any real detective or prosecutor and I'll bet they will say that circumstantial evidence is only good for scare tactics or building a case. It never means someone is guilty.

You seem to be confused as to what I am saying. I am saying that circumstantial evidence is not evidence of guilt. It merely points investigators and prosecutor in the direction of who could have done it.

And why the stupid name? Did I cause you great emotional distress previously?

Anonymous Gen. Kong August 08, 2013 1:27 PM  

Liars, damned liars and statistics. Mark Twain knew about their games over a century ago.

Anonymous Annalitic August 08, 2013 1:28 PM  

And why the stupid name? Did I cause you great emotional distress previously?

Apparently you lack the obsequiousness that statists require when discussing their god.

Blogger buzzardist August 08, 2013 1:31 PM  

swiftfoxmark2,

I don't know that it is always a matter of incompetence on the part of police and prosecutors. Often, they are incompetent. But, as you note, forensic evidence is circumstantial. It can usually be torn apart in court by any half-decent lawyer.

But it's worth noting that most criminal cases have nothing to do with murder. Murder is one of the least common criminal cases. Most are for more mundane matters where it can be easier to get confessions and convictions.

And, yes, many of the confessions are plea bargains in the U.S., which is a difference from Japan, where confessions are often dragged from a person who has been questioned for days, often without a lawyer. In the U.S., whether the case is drug possession or murder, someone facing a lot of circumstantial evidence will often accept a deal for a suspended or shortened sentence rather than face the possibility of a much harsher punishment. Murder cases go to court more often than most because a person facing death or life in prison has less to lose in going to trial. A 70-30 chance of getting the death penalty vs. a 100% chance of spending life in prison leads plenty of defendants to risk the trial. And, of course, plenty of prosecutors will risk a trial, too, because murder cases are high-profile. No prosecutor wants to seem soft for giving a cold murderer a deal for 40 years in prison when the person could/should have gotten life in prison or the death penalty. There is a desire in those cases for the maximum sentence that isn't there for most lesser cases. It's thus much easier to cut plea bargains and get confessions for lesser crimes because both sides have more flexibility, whereas with murder cases both sides feel more compelled to test their luck with a trial. Except that a trial often isn't about luck so much as about legal skill.

And that's why George Zimmerman can thank his stars that he wasn't simply charged with murder right away, which would have left his case in obscurity, meaning that he'd likely have had less access to top lawyers. I'm sure he'd rather never have been charged at all, but if he had to be charged, having the case be so high-profile meant that he was much more likely to walk because his lawyers were certainly not just going to be punching their time cards and sending a bill.

Anonymous Anonymous August 08, 2013 2:19 PM  

"@Titus: Wouldn't 4.5% of 310,000,000 be 13,950,000?"


No, because what they call a "percent" in these statistics is actually "X per 100,000," not "X per 100."

Anonymous Anonymous August 08, 2013 2:21 PM  

@swiftfoxmark2 "Ask any real detective or prosecutor and I'll bet they will say that circumstantial evidence is only good for scare tactics or building a case. It never means someone is guilty."

Well now, my friend, it looks like you don't want CSI Miami, eh?

Anonymous righteous gobbler August 08, 2013 2:52 PM  

Statistics are as malleable as warm playdough. I never, ever trust the massaged and twisted statistics on anything having to do with any leftist cause.

The only time the liberal statists refrain from manipulating the statistics is when they simply pull made up statistics straight out of their asses. They know that the MPAI crowd will be duly impressed so as to not even question their bogus figures.

Anonymous slowpokefuckfoxface6, with sidekick knob-gobbler August 08, 2013 3:29 PM  

"Short of a full confession or multiple eyewitness accounts, there is no reason to assume a defendant committed any crime."

add "or evidence collected by the police" after "accounts", then you are correct.


"Circumstantial evidence is usually used more to scare people into confessing."


"In fact, a common police technique is to produce false circumstantial evidence in order to goad a suspect into a confession during an interrogation."

Please provide specific documentation to prove this (wild) assertion.


"Ask any real detective or prosecutor and I'll bet they will say that circumstantial evidence is only good for scare tactics or building a case."

And I'll bet they will say "you're an idiot". The purpose of the police and DA is to bring to justice offenders of the law by following proper protocol and procedures.


"I never, ever trust the massaged and twisted statistics on anything having to do with any leftist cause."

Right, because conservatives or members of the Christian libertarian intelligentsia most certainly refrain from manipulating data for their own designs.

Anonymous righteous gobbler August 08, 2013 4:04 PM  

OK, fair enough so I gather the only reasonable conclusion is to reject ALL statistics.

I believe the lefties (and despicable RINOs) stand to loose much more then those who believe in true liberty.

Anonymous Laz August 08, 2013 4:27 PM  

"The purpose of the police and DA is to bring to justice offenders of the law by following proper protocol and procedures."

Is it proper protocol and procedure to question a suspect? It most certainly is. Is putting pressure on the suspect while questioning with circumstantial evidence legal? Yes

Anonymous Fred2 August 08, 2013 4:55 PM  

I may be wrong, but I read of enough cases where people against whom the states evidence was weak, seem to get charged with what seems like dozens and dozens of crimes, as a plea bargaining tactic by the prosecution.

Where, facing the possibility of a total of 75 million years of jail time ( number made up, obviously) when defended by a public defender, they cave on some lessor charge.

Were they really guilty? Maybe, maybe not. They were certainly scared stupid that perhaps not being the most sympathetic defendant and having probably a less that stellar, or overworked lawyer, that the prosecutors could make a bunch of stuff stick to them that was just not true.

I wouldn't mind it so much if after agreeing to the lessor charge, the state then had to PROVE that.

It sounds unjust.



Anonymous Ann Morgan August 08, 2013 6:59 PM  

Well, there's a lot of things like that. For instance, when anti-gun groups trot out statistics about how many 'children' are killed by guns every year, although their target audience, when they hear the word 'children' thinks of some wide-eyed chubby 4 year old clutching a teddy bear and hit by a stray bullet, what the anti-gun groups specifically do not mention is that they consider 'children', for purposes of their statistics, to be anyone up to, and including, the age of 21. Which includes gang members and soldiers killed in wars, btw.

If you redo the statistics and only count those children age 13 and younger, the numbers go WAY down.

Same thing happens with the murder statistics in Japan (which another poster here was bleating about earlier as a model of low crime). If a man kills his wife, 3 children, and then himself, that is not recorded in their statistics as four murders and a suicide, as it would be here. Instead they classify it under something called a 'family suicide'.

Anonymous Ann Morgan August 08, 2013 7:06 PM  

On the bizaare side, I heard once that when the police in NY city find a foot or an arm in the river, although they are pretty much certain it's from a murder victim who has been dismembered, legally they cannot classify it as a 'murder', since there's always a remote possibility that the person is still alive somewhere, without their foot or arm...

Anonymous DonReynolds August 08, 2013 9:26 PM  

The murder rate statistics in the UK are by no means a surprise, but I fail to see how this supports an argument for more gun control in the USA. Are people murdered with a knife in the UK happier than those shot to death in the US? (Clearly this is not a matter of blood, since a knife killing is likely to be every bit as bloody and messy as a gunshot wound.) Is it somehow more humane to beat a person to death with clubs or bricks or steel-toed boots than to blast them with a shotgun? I would imagine that a quick death by gunshot would be better than being burned alive. Drowning would seem to be the least destructive of the human body and involve very little blood, provided they are not left in the river or ocean to be eaten by turtles or crabs or other scavengers.

I tend to suspect that some people fear death by guns more than by other means. Specifically, I would believe that large and tall men might find guns to be particularly upsetting since it takes away their natural advantage over shorter and smaller men. Guns are very much an equalizer in contests between men, much like the bow or crossbow was centuries ago. Even a short man can fire a gun or a bow. Proficiency comes from talent and practice, with few natural advantages retained by men who can win at arm wrestling. In addition, guns are effective when there are multiple targets. Wrestling contests would normally overpower a single opponent with little difficulty.

Anonymous p-dawg August 08, 2013 9:41 PM  

@Titus: "No, because what they call a "percent" in these statistics is actually "X per 100,000," not "X per 100."

Well, "cent" means "hundred" and "per cent" means per hundred, so somebody out to teach those idiots some basic maths.

Anonymous p-dawg August 08, 2013 9:41 PM  

out = ought

Anonymous Anonymous August 09, 2013 1:20 AM  

Vox, et al
Re: Brit violent crime/murder rates

You may find the following of interest.:


Civitas: Crime Figures 2001-2006
Do the official crime figures tell the whole story?
http://www.civitas.org.uk/crime/crimeFiguresMain.php


Juicing the stats has been going on for quite awhile over in Jolly Olde Ingwund as the above clearly shows. And then there's this,:


The most violent country in Europe: Britain is also worse than South Africa and U.S.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html


& this,:

STEPHEN POLLARD: Knife attacks: Damned lies and crime figures
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1036106/STEPHEN-POLLARD-Knife-attacks-Damned-lies-crime-figures.html

'Selective' knife figures blasted
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7780057.stm
(And since it's from the Beeb, you KNOW it's the truth!)


& also this.:

Crime in Europe and in the U.S.: Dissecting the 'Reversal of Misfortunes'
http://dev3.cepr.org/meets/wkcn/9/979/papers/Buonnano_etal.pdf



And up in 'civilised' Cahnahdah, it isn't as 'peaceful' as they say, eh.:

The lowdown on crime in Canada
http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/07/01/the-lowdown-on-crime-in-canada---compared-to-other-countries/


And now back to Europe, La Belle France in particular.:

Illegal gun trade: Toulouse gunman highlights the problem in France
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/illegal-gun-trade-toulouse-gunman-highlights-problem-france


And down in the land of Oz......:

AUSTRALIA: MORE VIOLENT CRIME DESPITE GUN BAN
http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17847

Australia: A Massive Buy back of Low-Risk Guns
http://www.popcenter.org/problems/gun_violence/PDFs/Reuter_Mouzos_2003.pdf
(And as w/ the BBC, the Brookings Instn imprimatur is a Guarantee Of Veracity)


That should be enough & if not, there's always David Kopel's classic The Samurai, The Mountie, and The Cowboy to peruse.


Cassandra (of Troy)

Anonymous Anonymous August 09, 2013 3:15 AM  

DonReynolds/08Aug2013@9:26 PM,


"Are people......burned alive."

It's always thought it strange how many seem to believe that, but given most people have no non-entertainment based experience w/ the realities of interpersonal violence that belief's not too surprising.


"Drowning......scavengers."

The old plastic bag/wrap gambit's better, & when enhanced w/ a 'stun-gun'/Taser, much more efficient. After that it's a suitably sized steel drum, the appropriate amount of concrete, & a deep water fishing expedition.


"Specifically,......difficulty."

That seems, at least in my experience, to be a correct assessment of the situation. On more than one occasion I've seen 'tuff guyz' squawk that a gun in the hand of their intended victim's "unfair", & also have seen big/mean dudes reduced to teary-eyed begging when he/they realized that something had gone horribly awry w/ his/their 'entertainment' plans & that he/they was/were on the edge of Eternity. That response never fails to amuse, truly, & what's even funnier is when the "Go ahead & shoot if you've got the guts" bluff's called as in Richard Pryor's pimp getting capped routine. The bigger the 'pugilist'/'martial artist', the deeper the dislike of 'equality', & that's fine by me.


Cassandra (of Troy)

Anonymous Toilet August 09, 2013 7:48 AM  

For those whom it may interest, the Danish murder rate for 2011 was 0.82 per 100.000 with 46 murders with a population of 5,560,628. If you want to talk about rigged statistics, the UK is nothing.

Anonymous Anonymous August 09, 2013 4:40 PM  



Toilet/09Aug2013@7:48 AM,

And if one eases on up to Sweden one's in for another eye opener regarding violent crime as their stats would make the staff of the former Soviet Dept for Agitation & Propaganda elbow each other approvingly, cause Joey Goebbels to beam w/ pride, & inspire Don Draper to even greater heights.:


Sweden's unsolved violent crime rate at 95 percent
http://www.icenews.is/2008/11/15/swedens-unsolved-violent-crime-rate-at-95-percent/

Sweden to get tougher on violent crime
http://www.thelocal.se/24648/20100128/
(The comments are quite enlightening)

Crime trends in Sweden
http://www.bra.se/bra/bra-in-english/home/crime-and-statistics.html
(See the left side categories for an unintentionally revealing glimpse into the Swedish govt's, & quite likely the population's, mindset)


Cassandra (of Troy)

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