Racial Disparities in Homicide Victimisation Rates: How to Improve Transparency by the Office of National Statistics in England and Wales
Sherman, Lawrence W.
Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing
Springer International Publishing
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Kumar, S., Sherman, L. W., & Strang, H. (2020). Racial Disparities in Homicide Victimisation Rates: How to Improve Transparency by the Office of National Statistics in England and Wales. Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing, 4 (3-4), 178-186. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41887-020-00055-y
Funder: University of Cambridge
Abstract: Research Question: How much racial disparity in trends of homicide victimisation rates in England and Wales is obscured by the failure of official statistics to report rates of death per 100,000 people at risk? Data: We collected two decades of homicide victimisation counts in England and Wales, as broken out for each racial group identified by the Office of National Statistics. We also collected the estimated population size of those groups from the 2001 and 2011 Census. Methods: We divided the number of homicides in each racial category by the estimated population size of that category, by year, for 20 years, and plotted their relationships. Findings: While White homicide victimisation rates remained low and stable from 2000 through 2019, Black homicide victimisation ranged from 200 to 800% higher than that for the White population during that time period, at an average of 5.6 times higher for Blacks. While Black victimisation dropped by 69% from 2001 to 2012, it almost doubled (79% increase) from 2013 to 2019, rising seven times faster than the White victimisation rate. Asian rates remained stable at about twice as high as White rates. For persons aged 16 to 24, the most recent homicide rate was 24 times higher for Blacks than for Whites. Conclusion: None of these rates per 100,000 or ratios has been reported by the Office of National Statistics. If future ONS reporting of homicide rates would include relevant denominators with raw numerators, public understanding of racial disparities in “over-policing” could be informed by potential “under-policing” relative to racial inequalities in homicide risk.
Research Note, Homicide victimisation, Rates versus counts, Racial disparity, Crime statistics, Policing disparity
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41887-020-00055-y
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/315609
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/