Thursday, 3 July 2008

discovery and relativity

An ex colleague is leaving where I used to work and shifting to Newark. I wanted to say something that made it look like I knew where he was going so I got my Google out. I think it's the one in the UK he's going to (we weren't that close; he's an ar5ena1 fan) but I browsed my way through a few pages on the one in New Jersey. While I exhausted my metaphorical thumbs flicking through electronic pages I read that Newark had one of the highest murder rates in the whole of New Jersey with an average of about 100 per year. Intriguingly (because of its intrinsic interest but also because it was deemed so newsworthy) is the strange occurrence at the start of this year. It went 43 days without a murder! The number so far this year represents a drop of 75% on the equivalent period in 2006.

If a hundred a year doesn't sound too bad, there were fewer than 800 in the whole of England and Wales in the year 05-06 and that included the people killed in the London bombings:

"There were a total of 765 homicide offences recorded in 2005/06, a decrease of twelve per cent compared to the previous year. The figure of 765 includes 52 homicide victims of the 7 July London bombings." (Home Office)

Bearing in mind the population of Newark is less than 300,000, it kinda puts all the British media's hysteria and fear provocation into perspective.

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