Crime linked to income deprivation in London

According to data provided by Trust for London in 2022, there were 60% more crimes reported in the most-income deprived 20% of areas compared to the least income-deprived 20% of areas in London. 

Contrast this with March 2019 to February 2020, the year before the pandemic, when 42.6% more crimes were reported in the most income-deprived 20% of areas than in the least income-deprived 20%. 

This change came after income inequality widened across London, which was already the most unequal city in the UK before the pandemic, with the highest earners moving further out of sight of the lowest during those years. 

The three-year average from 2018/19 to 2020/21 of the ratio of household income in the top 10% of earners to the lowest 10% reached 11x, which was the highest point for the past 15 years.

At the start of this year Sir Michael Marmot, leader of the Marmot review on the cost-of-living crisis in London, said: “Income inequalities are wider across the capital than the rest of the UK with people in the top 10% of society earning over ten times more than people in the poorest 10%.” 

He added that: “Income inequality has been further impacted by the pandemic: real wages have declined.”

The link between crime and income deprivation meant that when income inequality increased and reached its highest point during the years between 2019 and 2021 crime went down more in less deprived areas because their incomes became relatively higher than people in more deprived areas whose real income decreased. 

As the gap in income between the most and least deprived neighbourhoods widened during that period, more affluent areas moved further away in crime levels.

From 2019/2020 to 2022, in the least income-deprived 20% of London, crime fell considerably below pre-pandemic levels whereas in the most income-deprived 20% it only changed slightly.

Source: Trust for London NB: Each decile comprises 10% of neighbourhoods in London

Crime fell by 12,525 in the least deprived decile and 6,838 in the second least. In the most deprived decile crime fell by 763 and in the second most it increased by 1,016.

The statistics show the relative decrease in crime across the period tended to be larger the less deprived a decile was, with a much greater reduction in the least income-deprived areas.

This meant that the richer people were to begin with, the safer their neighbourhoods were likely to become. 

Overall crime figures are close to what they were before the pandemic in poorer neighbourhoods, suggesting they have returned to normal levels after Covid-19. 

Cost-of-living crisis and income levels

Before 2022 started, the cost-of-living crisis had already begun in late 2021 and has since worsened as people’s real incomes have progressively decreased because of increasing inflation. 

UK Inflation was around the Bank of England target of 2% in 2019 but was up to 8.7% in April 2023.

The need to make more money as it becomes less valuable relative to the price of goods has meant that most people in society must work harder to make ends meet, deepening income deprivation in the capital. 

I asked around Ealing, a borough which had an equivalent median income deprivation ranking relative to the rest of London in 2019. 

Overall neighbourhoods here were directly in the middle of incomes. Yet, here too, there was financial difficulty during the cost-of-living crisis.

Ejaz Chaudhry, a 57-year-old from Perivale, said: “It has become harder to make enough money.”

He added that they are barely getting by and can’t save anything.

Income deprivation and crime

The crime figures per quarter in Perivale reached its highest point for three years at the end of 2022 and has remained at a similar level this year, after real incomes have suffered over the period.

Those in more income-deprived areas are being hit much worse

The majority of the UK public believe that greater poverty will lead to more crime. Presently, around a quarter of Londoners are living in poverty.                                                                                                         

This is likely to make it more difficult to reduce crime levels because, halfway through 2022, City Hall published analysis that showed clear links between income deprivation, poverty and vulnerability to violent crime. 

Last year soaring costs deepened deprivation and poverty, key drivers of violent crime, and violence and sexual offences were reported 117% more in the two most income-deprived deciles compared to the two least income-deprived deciles, with weapon offences recorded 126% more.

People in poorer neighbourhoods are not only struggling more financially, crime is remaining stubbornly high as a result. 

In both years, crime was more prevalent in the most-income deprived areas. In 2019, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Southwark and Islington were four of the top five most income-deprived boroughs.

All made the list for the most dangerous places to live in London at the start of 2023. Overall, 8 of the 10 most dangerous boroughs in January this year were more-income deprived relative to the rest of London in 2019.

Source: Trust for London NB: Each decile comprises 10% of neighbourhoods in London

In 2022, those living in poorer neighbourhoods were least safe as crime levels stayed within 1% of what they were in the year before the first lockdown across the most income-deprived 40% of areas. 

People in the next 40% of areas were slightly safer as total crime dropped by between 2.4% and 3.9% compared to the year before the pandemic. 

By contrast, the second least income-deprived decile had 8.1% less crime and total crime in the least income-deprived was 13.1% lower. 

86% of the fall in crime between the two years came in the least income-deprived 50% of London. 

The data shows that income deprivation is strongly linked to crime as, after income inequality reached a decade-high 11x in London between 2019 and 2022, the reduction in total crime across the years was bigger the higher the income decile because the richest became much better off during this period.

Greater income inequality had a considerable effect on reducing crime levels in the least income-deprived areas because they became relatively wealthier, suggesting that while income deprivation keeps crime high in an area(s), higher incomes tend to reduce it.                                                                                                                                                                                          

The cost-of-living crisis is taking a much greater toll on income-deprived neighbourhoods in London, where crime is remaining rife, as poorer households are being disproportionately affected while the most affluent 5% are earning more money.   

The people who have been combatting crime argue that tackling poverty and income inequality would help to reduce crime levels.

In an interview with MyLondon last year Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “We know that those parts of London, the ones with highest levels of deprivation, have the highest levels of violent crime. I’m worried that the government’s failure to address the cost of living crisis could exacerbate some of the drivers of violent crime.”

To create a safer society in the capital the government must address the income inequality at the root of the cost-of-living crisis, reducing poverty and vulnerability to crime in the most income-deprived areas.

Majority of young people were uninterested in the king’s coronation and more prefer republic to monarchy

Divided opinion (Credit: PA Media)

A king cannot represent his people if he is out of touch with their lived experience. Charles III wore a 6kg golden robe in not one but two carriages, the diamond jubilee coach on the way to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey in which he was crowned monarch and the gold state coach, which has been used in every coronation since 1831, on the way back to Buckingham Palace.

These cultural relics cannot help to reconcile the differences between the royal aristocracy and their suffering subjects, as the vast expense lavished on the king’s event was branded a ‘slap in the face‘ to ordinary people struggling through the cost-of-living crisis. Perhaps that is why many young people are indifferent to royal affairs.

Young people tended to care less about the coronation

An online poll I carried out showed that most young people aged between 18-24 were uninterested in following the coronation as 82% did not see themselves tuning into the crowning ceremony. 88% thought that the £100 million earmarked for the coronation should have been spent elsewhere.

It is possible that there would have been a greater majority insofar as £100 million was a conservative estimate for the cost of the coronation with the real figure potentially as high as £250 million due to a massive security bill.

However, 23% said they were supporters of the monarchy, suggesting that even those who did support them felt the spending on the coronation was unwarranted. This seems to be borne out by the fact that 31% thought that the royal family serve an important function in our society.  

More young people thought that the monarchy served an important function than supported it, suggesting that it was unclear to them that what they do merits support even if they believe they play a meaningful role.                                                                        

While some young people felt that the royal family play a valuable role, fewer supported the monarchy as a political institution and barely any felt the outlay for the king’s coronation was justified under the circumstances, as many households are in dire straits and struggling to make ends meet.

A vast majority of over 90% believed that the pomp was inappropriate during the cost-of-living crisis. Perhaps because it showed in striking terms how wide the gap between the average family and one of the richest really is.

Young people may identify less with the royal family because they feel even more out of touch with them than they have in the past. At a time when most people are straining to earn enough to pay their rent, cover their bills and buy their food, an amount of money that could change many of their lives is being spent on a pompous celebration. 

Alex Thorpe, a 24 year old poller I followed up, said: “I don’t see why people are interested in the monarchy in general or what qualities you’re supposed to admire about them.”

Of the purported £100 million spent on the ceremony he added that “People who weren’t born into state wealth and power because of their bloodline have actual problems that could be addressed with that same government money.” As a result, he believes that the institution is outdated from a practical standpoint.                                                      

Bad timing

To many young people the coronation was not as worthy of public spending as assisting those whose basic financial needs are not being met during the present crisis. Many believed that the pageantry is inappropriate given what people are going through in these trying times.

Some who like the monarchy tempered their support when thinking on the seeming injustice of spending so much when people have so little. The large sum used to put on a show for the crowning of one man when millions of people are struggling seemed excessive even to those who are sympathetic to the monarchy. 

Between the age groups there was a majority who thought that the massive amount spent on the coronation should not have been funded by the government. This is after all a king with a private estate of around £1.8 billion, but taxpayers footed the bill for his crowning ceremony.

Most people thought the government should not cover the cost of the coronation

The viewing figures for the king’s coronation, while still high at 20 million, were much lower than the 29 million that watched the queen’s funeral last September. The fall of 9 million is staggering because it suggests that the generational divide is slightly overstated as older generations are losing interest too.

Growing indifference

Public support for the monarchy is now at its record lowest. 18-24 year olds seem to be the main drivers of the shift in opinion as 40% would prefer an elected head of state and only 36% want to keep the monarchy. This is half as many as in 2013, only a decade ago, when 72% supported the institution.

Britain is changing now more than ever and people, particularly the young, are questioning whether the monarchy is an outdated institution. Republicanism, the belief that the monarchy should be abolished and replaced with an elected head of state, has never been more popular.

Young republicans outnumber young monarchists

Nevertheless, while young people are turning the tide the old guard is holding firm and radical reform to the constitution remains a pipe dream for republicans. Another YouGov poll carried out in April 2023 showed that 62% supported the monarchy while 25% wanted a republic.

Change to the constitution is a long way off because the majority of Britain prefer the monarchy, but that perspective will become less common if 18-24 year olds continue to hold their views as they age and this trend carries over into the older age groups.

If this happens it is not inconceivable that support for a republic will grow considerably within a few decades. Eventually, with fewer supporters than detractors, the monarchy’s role in the constitution will have to be looked at more closely and put to a democratic vote.

That is what Republic, an anti-monarchy organisation, is hoping for. In an interview with Time magazine their CEO, Graham Smith, said: “It’s really people over the age of 65 who keep the overall poll above 50%, and I think that’s going to change over the next 10 years … If the support does go under 50% then the monarchy loses any last claim to legitimacy, and then there has to be a serious debate about getting rid of it.”

Less support for the monarchy and more clamouring for a republic in which there are no ‘rulers’ and ‘subjects’ would make a referendum more likely. In the 21st century, republicans argue that could not come sooner and while monarchists remain staunch opponents, there has been a seismic shift in opinions over the last decade.

If the monarchy’s decline in popularity continues then the republican movement, reinforced by young people, will be increasingly hard to ignore. If they get their way King Charles III could be the last British monarch.


We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians

Nelson Mandela
The Fight for Freedom

Imagine someone came into your home, assaulted you and forcefully dragged you out so they could live there, and all that was left to you was to throw a stone at the closing door in desperation. Palestine has no army, no way of protecting themselves and keeping their homes. They are up against a powerful military which has killed civilians and committed war crimes for decades, creating nothing less than an apartheid state, and are powerless to resist.

They can’t even retaliate – Israel has the most advanced missile defence system in the world, with a success rate higher than 90%. The stone may get through the gap but it is unlikely to hit anything. Rockets alone have killed over 4000 Palestinians and 32 Israelis since 2000.  From 2008 to 2020, 5590 Palestinians and 251 Israelis were killed (United Nations) and these figures don’t even include the deaths from this year, the most violent in a decade. Who are the real terrorists?

Israel, who have been making further inroads into Palestine since 1947, long before Hamas were founded in 1987, then claim they are bombing apartment buildings housing Palestinian families in ‘self-defence’. All they are defending is their ‘right’ to ethnically cleanse Palestinians, which Zionism, the belief that ‘Israel’ is God-given, encourages. They call Hamas ‘terrorists’ in order to justify levelling the buildings and taking the land for themselves, forcefully removing the Palestinians because the story of reaching the ‘promised land’ can only be coherent if they encounter no resistance.

The world is finally beginning to see through this lie and in response, yesterday they went a step further and destroyed a building accommodating media and news agencies, in order to stop their coverage of what is happening on the ground and escalate their offensive. They did this on the pretext that Hamas were operating there, but have given no evidence to prove this and never will, because there is none. Across the world they are being shown as the oppressors now and their narrative is no longer theirs to shape. What better sign of guilt than the need to silence the truth?

Fragmentation of humanity

We divide ourselves race by race, nation by nation, religion by religion, sect by sect, through even further derivatives until the fact of our shared humanity becomes irrelevant. It becomes ‘us’ vs ‘them’, as if we were somehow constituted a different way. We fail to see that our belonging to a particular group is superfical in a way that our being human is not. Yet we identify with these groups, feeling affinity with those we share them with, and so long as this continues there will be no unity. Until we can see all of humanity as our group, as like us, there will be no peace because we ruled out that possibility the moment we began to see in colour, nationality and religion, to justify our difference and raise a mental barrier between us and the rest of the world.

The fragmentation of humanity arises because of the difference between the ideas each group holds and the extent of this chasm even leads to war when it is pronounced enough. For peace to be possible we have to give up the ideas we divide ourselves by and come to regard other people as equal to us by virtue of being human. If something so simple and in line with reason seems beyond us, it will be the world itself that we burn down in flames.

A Conservationist Philosophy

Blue Marble

So long as we feel the world belongs to us there will be little hope for our survival here. Believing that it is our birthright to rule the earth we neglect its care and take from it unsustainably. We set ourselves up as the sovereign power and seek to secure our position by whipping nature into submission. Failing this, we do not fall back to earth but reach out to the stars for absolution. Though we belong to the world we do not feel our destiny is to remain here. This is clear, as climate change takes hold of the world, we plan out our route to another potentially hospitable planet. We divorce ourselves from our home, leaving it to its fate and damning ourselves along with it. Until we realise that this world is our home, that we came from it, were born of it, we will fail to save it.