Comparing Serious Violent Crime in the US and England and Wales: Why It Matters, and How It Can Be Done
Zelia Anna Gallo
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)
London School of Economics - Law Department
University of Oxford
June 20, 2014
LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 16/2014
Comparative analysis of violent crime is hampered by a lack of reliable statistics, even between relatively similar countries, with doubts about existing studies suggesting that further comparative data is needed. Violent crime presents particular problems of variation in offence definition and recording practices. We can, however, derive reasonably valid comparative data for the US and England and Wales for the narrower category of serious violent crime. We show broadly that the incidence of serious violent crime per capita is between three and seven times as high in the US as in England and Wales. This parallels the comparative data on homicide; existing comparisons with Canada and New Zealand lend further weight to the claim that levels of serious violence in the US are distinctively high.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: United States, England and Wales, serious violent crime, comparative analysis
Date posted: July 16, 2014
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