‘Fear of violence’ across Manchester makes city one of least peaceful areas in country, UK study claims

By Helen Le Caplain

Manchester is one of the least peaceful areas to live in the country despite the rates of murder and crime falling nationally, according to a recent study.

The UK Peace Index study, carried out by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), revealed that violent crime was down by about 25% from 2003 to 2012, but that Manchester ranked 18th least peaceful area.

It noted that poverty and deprivation are closely associated with violence and comes as a separate study conducted by The Greater Manchester Poverty Commission warned that more than half of Greater Manchester households are at risk of slipping below the poverty line.

The research defines peace as ‘the absence of violence or fear of violence’ and used a variety of Home Office data to compile its results.

Violent crime rates in the UK was down by about one quarter – from 1,255 per 100,000 people in 2003, to 933 in 2012, however it is still significantly higher than the European Union average.

More than half of all firearm-related offences in the UK occur in just three police authorities; Greater Manchester, Metropolitan London and West Midlands.

The IEP report stated that the national reduction in crime was due to a variety of factors including a rise in the real living wage and also changes in police practices along with technological improvements.

It said: “One of the key factors that has changed over the last decade has been the increasing use of modern technology in either fighting crime or creating the conditions under which it is more difficult to execute.

“As it becomes more difficult to safely execute a crime the disincentive outweighs the benefit.”

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) declined to comment on the figures.

Only two weeks ago, Manchester appeared again in the bottom 20 of a Rightmove study that claimed the city was perceived as one of the most unsafe to live in the UK.

The survey asked 40,000 homeowners how they feel about the place they call home and Manchester was 19th from bottom, while Stockport came up as second happiest place to live in the country.

GMP slammed the figures, claiming they contradicted Home Office statistics that 94% of Mancunians have confidence in police officers and staff.

A GMP spokesman said: “Noticeably only 3% of those surveyed witnessed high levels of antisocial behaviour, this again shows that the on-going work of the neighbourhood policing teams and police partners to tackle the root of the problem is paying off.”

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles