Knife crime: Assault data can help forecast fatal stabbings in London, study suggests

phys.org | 4/12/2019 | Staff
jenny124124 (Posted by) Level 3
Knife crime data from a 12-month period could be used to help forecast the London neighbourhoods most likely to suffer a fatal stabbing the following year, according to latest research.

Cambridge criminologists worked with a Metropolitan Police detective to show that the number of assaults resulting in knife injuries over one year correlated with an increased risk of deadly knife crime in the same small areas the next year.

DCI - John - J - Massey - Met

DCI John J. Massey from the Met's Homicide Command manually trawled through thousands of knife crime records to pick out and "geo-code" incidents where people were stabbed and cut but survived during the 2016/17 financial year.

This may be the first dataset of non-fatal knife assault "hotspots" in the UK. Current crime statistics do not distinguish between incidents without injury—displaying of knives during robberies, for example—and those where knives have wounded.

Massey - Knife - Assaults - Period - Ratio

Massey found 3543 knife assaults had occurred during the 12-month period: a ratio of 66 non-fatal stabbings for every knife homicide that year.

Each assault was coded to one of London's 4835 local census areas—some as small as a few football fields—and compared to the locations of the 97 homicides from the following 2017/18 financial year.

Areas - Half - London - Knife - Assaults

Some 2781 areas, over half of London, had no knife assaults at all in the first year. Of these areas, 1% saw a homicide in year two.

Of the 41 neighbourhoods that had six or more injuries from knife assaults in the first year, 15% went on to suffer a homicide the following year.

Researchers - Increase - Homicide - Risk - Assault

The researchers argue that this reveals a large increase in homicide risk: these top assault hot spots were 15 times more likely to suffer a knife homicide the following year than all areas—the majority of London—with no knife assaults.

They say that data on knife assaults provide a "consistent pattern" of greater knife homicide risk the next year. Census...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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