Nadine White, The Independent, April 14, 2021
Black people are three times more likely to be killed on the streets of London than other ethnic groups, new figures show.
Almost half of all murder victims in the capital in 2019 were Black despite them making up only 13 per cent of the city’s population, according to analysis conducted by the charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) and shared with The Independent.
The organisation used media reports and open-source data to establish the ethnicity of 135 of the 147 people who were violently killed in London that year. It found 62 (46.7 per cent) of that number were Black compared to 48 (35.6 per cent) White, 21 (15.6 per cent) Asian and four (3 per cent) Latin American or mixed heritage.
More of London’s murder victims were Black than any other ethnic group despite 59.8 per cent of the city’s wider population being white.
Of these victims, 57 (92 per cent) were male, and five (8 per cent) were female.
Black people were also four times more likely to be convicted of murder and were on average three years younger than the mean age of 23 at the time, while white killers were 10 years older.
Iain Overton, founder of AOAV, said: “All too often, news stories of killings in London fixate on individual tragedies. This research seeks to identify wider trends and patterns in both those killed and those who have perpetrated killings.
“Whilst our data often points to and reinforces widely held truths – such as men being far more likely to be killers than women – our findings point towards the need for more research, not least in areas such as why so many Black men are caught up in violence at a young age.
“Analysis into social deprivation, education, employment prospects and other factors that play a part in the fabric of violence need to be more widely examined, and government funding should be found to this end.”
Campaigners expressed alarm at the research, and called on the government to “accept responsibility” for systemic racism.
It comes after a government-commissioned race report published earlier this month concluded structural racism did not exist in the UK.
Lee Jasper, one of Britain’s most prominent race equality activists, told The Independent: “Research tells us that poverty is the mother of crime and violence. One of the dire consequences of high rates of poverty is wide spread family dysfunction – this the primary effect of unaddressed generational levels of systemic racism.
“We are disproportionately poor and that drives family breakdown, and as a result we are over represented in violence and homicide figures. For Black people, racism and poverty are the greatest forms of violence; institutional racism represents an existential threat and a public health crisis.”
The Met had recorded some 149 homicides up to 30 December 2019, while in five years the homicide rate in London had increased by more than 50 per cent from 94 cases in 2014.