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Comparing Serious Violent Crime in the US and England and Wales: Why It Matters, and How It Can Be Done

29 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2014  

Zelia Anna Gallo

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Nicola Lacey

London School of Economics - Law Department

David Soskice

University of Oxford

Date Written: June 20, 2014

Abstract

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.

Keywords: United States, England and Wales, serious violent crime, comparative analysis

Suggested Citation

Gallo, Zelia Anna and Lacey, Nicola and Soskice, David, Comparing Serious Violent Crime in the US and England and Wales: Why It Matters, and How It Can Be Done (June 20, 2014). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 16/2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2456963 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2456963

Zelia Anna Gallo (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Nicola Lacey

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

David Soskice

University of Oxford

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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