On 24th April 2013, in Houses of Parliament, United Kingdom Peace Index (UKPI) was launched. Vijay Mehta, Chair of Uniting for Peace (UfP) and Crystal Jones, UfP Media Relations and Content editor joined the event.
Steve Killelea, founder of Global Peace Index gave a presentation exploring the fabric of peace in UK from 2003 to 2012. The UK Peace Index shows that the UK is 11 per cent more peaceful now than it was 10 years ago, with a sharp decline in homicide and crime.
The UKPI measures peace according to five key indicators: the level of violent crime, homicide, public disorder, weapons crime, and the number of police. The UKPI Report includes an analysis of the key socio-economic factors associated with peace. The research shows that violence is closely linked to severe deprivation. By tackling deprivation and improving incomes, access to employment, and protection from the worst effects of poverty, levels of violence across the UK would significantly reduce.
The key findings of the report are below:
- The total economic impact of violence in 2012 was £124 billion to UK economy.
- The UK showed the largest drop in total crime of all European countries over the past decade.
- 17 per cent of Britons think they will be a victim of a violent crime, but less than 4 per cent will experience violent crime.
- Incarceration is not a cost-effective solution to reducing violence, it costs £40,800 per prisoner per year.
- Reducing violence in the UK by only 9 per cent would result in savings of more than £11 billion – the total cost of the London Olympic Games.
- 25 per cent reduction of violence will have an economic effect equivalent to the total cost required to build the Birmingham Motorway, the fourth replacement bridge in Edinburgh and the London Cross Rail.
- A 50 per cent reduction of violence in the UK could pay off the debt owing on all hospitals built in the UK over the past 13 years.
The downward trend in violence is potentially due to a range of factors:
- Changes in police practices and technological improvements.
- Aging population.
- Decreasing alcohol consumption.
- Rising real wages due to the introduction of the minimum wage.
The UK Peace Index report compares findings from the two national peace indices produced by IEP, the US Peace Index and the UK Peace Index. The comparison shows homicide, as a proportion of total violent crime, is almost 10 times higher in the US than the UK. In the US two out of three homicides are caused by guns, compared to only one in 13 in the UK.
After the event, Vijay and Crystal mingled with the delegates and met the organisers of UK Peace Index. It was a good networking opportunity.