London had more homicides in the past two months than New York City did—for the first time on record.
In February and March, London recorded 37 slayings compared with 35 in the Big Apple, The Sunday Times reported. March alone saw 22 homicides occur in London and 21 in the Big Apple.
The two cities have comparable populations: New York has 8.5 million residents and London, 8.7 million.
London is narrowing the gap between the two cities in homicide numbers for 2018 to date, with 46 slayings compared with 50 in New York.
“There is no easy answer to why homicides are on the rise in London but falling in New York City, in significant part because there is no one single cause of violent crime,” said Amy Swearer, a visiting legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, adding:
It underscores the central message of Second Amendment advocates—stop blaming the complex issue of violent crime on access to lawfully owned firearms. The data just does not support such an accusation, and the simple two-word solution to ‘ban guns’ does not solve any problems in reality.
The Guardian reported that of the 46 killings in London, 36 were stabbings. It’s not clear how many homicides in New York were the result of stabbings, shootings,or other means.
New York has seen a sharp decline in homicides and total crime over the past 28 years. In 1990, the city logged 2,245 homicides; that number dropped by 87 percent last year, to 290.
Conversely, London has seen a 40 percent increase in killings over three years.
In the United Kingdom, “gun ownership is a privilege, not a right,” according to the laws there.
The U.K. banned handguns in 1997, and gun ownership is limited to certain people and to certain types of rifles and shotguns. Although London has some of “the toughest [firearms control] in the world,” according to the U.K.’s guide on firearm ownership, at least two of the killings in London since January were committed with a firearm.
New York has strict gun control laws, too. One man, Avi Wolf, was arrested for having an empty magazine after declaring it to the Transportation Security Administration at the LaGuardia Airport.
In New York, a gun is considered “loaded” if the bullets are in the same luggage, whether or not they are actually in a magazine that is loaded in the gun.
Fatal stabbings in England and Wales are at their highest levels since 2011, rising by 12 percent in 2017.
Still, a London Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “London remains one of the safest cities in the world.”
London police are “concerned at the increase in murders in London, and specialist detectives from the Met’s homicide and major-crime command are investigating,” the spokesman said. “One murder is one too many, and we are working hard with our partners to understand the increase and what we can all do to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place.”
Officials said London tourism flatlined in 2017 owing to “fears of terrorism” and other reasons, such as rail transportation problems and higher costs of living.