Finding this Issue scary?


The UK is a very safe place to live

Crime can be an issue that scares people. The news is full of scary stories about serious crimes which can make it feel like these kinds of crimes are happening all the time and everywhere. It's important to remember that this is not true.

One of the reasons why the Burnet News Club is discussing this issue is to learn about how the media sometimes makes news stories seem scarier than they actually are, or presents things in ways that aren't quite accurate.

We are looking at an unusual increase in certain crimes and ways to reverse this. But even with the increase, the UK is a very safe place to live.

The overall levels of violent crime in England and Wales are much lower than when you were born.

Here are some bits of information to show that the UK is generally a very safe place to live:

1) The overall levels of violent crime in England and Wales are much lower than when you were born.

2) Murder in the UK is very rare compared to other places. In the UK one person in every hundred thousand people is murdered. Compare that to the statistic that one person in every fifty thousand dies from playing football!

3) In some countries that figure is much higher. For example in Brazil the murder rate is 30 times higher than in the UK.

During this issue, we do not want you to focus on details of specific crimes committed. We want to look at some possible reasons behind the rise and suggestions for how to prevent it. We also want you to develop a healthy scepticism you can apply when confronted with stories in the news.

Why is it important to know these facts?
Did any of these facts surprise you?

Comments (19)

  • Millbank-logo-250x250.jpg polite_independence
    Millbank Academy 09 Jan 2019

    the part about Brazil yes

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  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 09 Jan 2019 in reply to polite_independence's comment

    Can you explain your comment further... What is surprising about it? Why did you have a different expectation?

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  • Millbank-logo-250x250.jpg polite_independence
    Millbank Academy 09 Jan 2019

    I felt it was surprising because Brazil is not the kind of country I thought will be violent. In a newspaper I will see a crime every day but I never saw news about Brazil or any other countries so I think England has a lot of crime ,but I am wrong.
    I think it was important to know these facts because you might think you have to stay inside for most of the day because outside will be dangerous and you will become really overprotected

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  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 09 Jan 2019 in reply to polite_independence's comment

    Well done for explaining your response!

    You're right the UK newspapers don't often report on crimes going on in Brazil or other countries, but they report a lot about crime in the UK. Why might they choose to do this?

    Well done for also pointing out that understanding the whole picture is important so we don't over-worry or over-react.

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  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg determined_orange
    Birchwood C of E Primary School 09 Jan 2019

    I have posted something about cyberbullying and can you read it please. Don't forget to comment your thoughts. Please Tiff @ the BNC

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  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 10 Jan 2019 in reply to determined_orange's comment

    Hi determined_orange,

    Well done for entering the weekly competitions and I can see that you've been reading some of the posts for this issue.

    Unfortunately we cannot publish your post for a few reasons.

    1)We only publish posts which are relevant to the issue BNC members are covering. We look at a different issue every six weeks. This half term- the focus is on the rise of violent crime.
    2)You can only use images that we have pre-uploaded for an issue or you have created yourself. This is because of copyright laws.

    I'd suggest getting involved with some of the discussions by commenting with your own opinions. You could answer some of the questions you see in the post or that I've asked underneath posts. Then try to think of a new discussion topic which is about our main issue to write a longer post about.

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  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg selfreliant_impression
    Michael Faraday School 10 Jan 2019

    thank you tiff this is very reassuring I didn't know that Brazil had a high murder rate than the uk in my opinion this should actually be dealt with because people are handing out fake news be over emphasising things that make the situation bigger than it really is

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  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg resourceful_drawing
    Birchwood C of E Primary School 11 Jan 2019

    how do you feel about violent crime Tiff do you think its good or bad?I think that crime is bad

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  • Beverley-St-Nicholas-logo-250x250.jpg free_tornado
    Beverley St Nicholas Primary School 11 Jan 2019

    I think this is scary because u don’t know what will happen one day because the hole world Is scary and I’m not allowed to play out because of the crime

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  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 11 Jan 2019 in reply to resourceful_drawing's comment

    I agree with you. I'm not sure there are any reasons for violent crime being seen as good.

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  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 11 Jan 2019 in reply to free_tornado's comment

    Sometimes the world can seem scary. We want to know what is happening so that we can be part of the conversation about how to stop it, but it's also important to remember that the UK is very safe, especially compared to some other parts of the world.

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  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg unbiased_grapefruit
    Boutcher C of E Primary School 13 Jan 2019

    As we’ve heard in the issue, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 and Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 is what we will be looking at. If you find or feel like it’s not a safe place, then you should really consider yourself in a safer environment than other places that has a war going on like Yemen 🇾🇪 or Syria 🇸🇾. There’s a lot of police in the UK 🇬🇧.

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg affable_weaver
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 13 Jan 2019

    I think that, although murder in the UK is significantly low compared to other countries, it is still worthwhile to learn and discuss it as it will stop murder increasing to what it was a century ago.

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  • New-Horizons-logo-250x250.jpg digital_brain
    New Horizons Children's Academy 14 Jan 2019

    England has quite a lot of crime but we’re very lucky that we don’t live in a war torn country also I feel sympathetic for foreign family’s who are affected by war and crime.

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 14 Jan 2019

    Yes I agree with affable_weaver, we should discuss about crime and to understand the cause of crime and how to prevent it. From our first session, initially I was surprised to hear in general that violent crime in Uk is actually lower compared to a decade ago. So it’s fair to say, that the constant media reporting of Knife crime etc does actually skew your perception in thinking Uk is unsafe. The data from the first link from in this post shows violent crime was at its lowest in 2014. However since 2014 it went up and continued to rise to 2016 but no data for 2017/18 to show whether it has increase since. Is violent crime getting worse? (Please note: I was unable to access the second link to look for more information)

    According to one BBC article, (Jan 2018) showed that recorded violent crime is rising from a decade ago, this was based on the data from the police force. The article also highlights the fact that the number of police officers has continued to fall: in the 12 months to last September, down 930 to 121,929.

    Suggesting that violent crime is being increased might be linked to a reduction of police officers. Could this be one factor of many other factors? I believe violent crime is a very complex issue and solutions to the problem is not an easy one to solve. Nonetheless if we all discuss it, we might get some idea of what is going on.

    The guardian reports (April 2008) ‘Knife and gun crime has surged in England and Wales, but the causes and solutions are unclear’. Supporting data does shows a sharp increase in crime involving knives throughout England. However, the article say these crimes don’t occur very often and the vast majority of people will not be a victim of violent crime but the problem is, they do attract a lot of media attention with most of the media coverage focusing on London. The upside is, overall crime has continued to decrease in the past decade.

    So yes, I probably agree- the Uk is generally a safer place to live and by comparing Uk violent crimes to other countries can also help put that into perspective. So looking further through that first link, I was curious to know, how does Uk violent crimes compare to France? Because France is our neighbour and is similar to the UK in the fact that it is far more developed country than Brazil. And to my surprise, the data shows that the Uk has had a constant lower violent crime rate than France from 2000-2016 - this was a real eye opener for me! I suppose it was easier to accept that violent crime is higher in Brazil because I have often heard unsafe stories about Brazil along with other Latin American countries and people being weary of going there.

    I think it’s very important to look further into the full facts and get a fuller, accurate picture of what is really going on, otherwise, just like the other members have said, you might feel afraid to go out and let it overrule your life. However, if you have more information about a particular area being unsafe, it may help you to take better precaution and reduce risk to certain places.

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  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 14 Jan 2019 in reply to creative_sparrow's comment

    Fantastic comment creative_sparrow!

    You've shown BNC members that contributing to a discussion with a long comment can really enrich the conversation. Other BNC members take note!!

    You've shown curiosity by seeking out statistics for crime in France and explained how that has affected your own opinion.

    You suggest fewer police might be a reason for the recent rise. Can you find any other reasons?

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 14 Jan 2019

    Thank you for the star! I definitely will be researching this further and looking into other possible reasons to violent crime so we can all help to get a fuller understanding of the problem
    and maybe we can all help come up with some possible solutions, because it's really sad and tragic when you think about it.

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 14 Jan 2019

    I suppose an obvious reason would be poverty and probably is a major factor why people commit violent crime however there are a lot of people I know that are poor but would never get into any aspects of crime whatsoever. So it does make you wonder why do certain people fall into crime and especially gang culture which no doubt has put knife crime high in the media spotlight. It’s always tragic to hear a young person has been killed due to all this gang warfare.

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