The United Kingdom Peace Index (UKPI), produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), provides a comprehensive measure of the levels of peacefulness within the United Kingdom from 2003 to 2012.1 It also provides an analysis of the socio-economic factors which are associated with peace as well as an estimate of the economic cost of violence and the benefits that would flow from increases in peace. The UKPI is based on the Global Peace Index, the preeminent global measure of peacefulness which has been produced by IEP annually since 2007.
The UK Peace Index (UKPI) gauged peace according to the levels of violent crime, homicide, public disorder, weapons crime and the number of police.
Defining peace as the absence of violence or fear of violence, the UK Peace Index is based on a similar methodology to the USPI and enables comparability of the two indexes both at a national level and at more detailed local level. The index has been produced at the Local Authority (LA) level with the population for the LAs ranging from 35,000 to over 1 million people. Of the 343 LAs covered in the index, 278 are more peaceful now than they were in 2003.
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– The UK has become more peaceful since 2003. 343 Local Authorities have been assessed in the index, of those 278 are more peaceful now than they were in 2003.
– Both crime and homicide have fallen significantly. The fall over the last decade has resulted in the UK homicide rate now being roughly equivalent to that of the Western European average, and it is now at its lowest level since 1978. However, the UK violent crime rate is significantly higher than the European Union average.
– Despite the global financial crisis, violence has continued to decline in both the UK and Europe even during the on-going recession. In the UK, the only major offence category to substantially increase over the ten year period was drug offences. All other categories of crime, including burglary and fraud, have fallen.
– The most peaceful region in the UK is South East England. The least peaceful region is Greater London immediately preceded by Scotland and Northern Ireland.
– The least peaceful major urban centre in the UK is Glasgow, preceded by London and then Belfast.
– When measured at the Local Authority level the most peaceful areas are Broadland, Three Rivers, and South Cambridgeshire.
– The least peaceful are the London boroughs of Lewisham, Lambeth, and Hackney.
– The total economic effect of violence to the UK economy was £124 billion in 2012. This is composed of both direct and indirect costs and is equivalent to £4,700 per household or 7.7% of GDP. The total economic effect that would result from a 9% reduction in violence is equivalent to the total cost of the London Olympics.
– A 25% reduction in violence would have an economic effect equivalent to the total cost required to build the Birmingham Motorway, the Forth Replacement Bridge in Edinburgh and the London Crossrail. A 50% reduction could pay-off the debt owing on all hospitals built in the UK over the past 13 years. The amount owed by all 72 clubs in the English Football League is equivalent to less than 1% of the economic impact of violence