Crime: Inner Cities are Beginning to Resemble Suburbs, and Vice Versa

The Economist examines how London's inner city neighborhoods are well past an inflection point in crime rates. In many cases inner city neighborhoods are now safer than suburban neighborhoods and the trend is set to continue.

"Data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales show that between 2001 and 2010 burglary rates fell by 43% in the most deprived areas, compared with a fall of 32% in the most affluent areas. Meanwhile, as Mark Simmons, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, puts it, 'bits of outer London now look more like inner London.'"

The Economist cites urban policies as having an effect in the inner city neighborhood Lambeth:

"Dank underpasses and walkways have been closed off, ground floor garages converted to shops and a church, and the worst buildings demolished to make way for a mixture of social and private housing. That deters criminals directly and also helps to keep young, aspirational families on the estate. Meanwhile Lambeth's population is changing as yuppies and new immigrants arrive. Since 2001 the borough's white population has increased by 9% and its black African population by 11%. Some criminals may simply have moved out."

While Lambeth now has lower crime rates than many suburban neighborhoods. many suburban communities are seeing their crime rates rise. In Barnet, an outer suburb, crime rates have risen steadily and are now significantly higher than some inner city neighborhoods such as Lambeth.

Thanks to Hamilton Lombard

Full Story: Clean streets

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