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Understanding serious violence among young people in London

December 2021

This analysis looks at the characteristics and risk/predictive factors behind rates of victimisation and rates of offending for both the ‘most serious violence’ and ‘secondary violence’ experienced by young people in London. Using MPS recorded crime data, it looks in more detail at the trends and profiles of ‘most serious violence’, knife crime, gun crime and homicides, and explores disproportionality by the ethnicity of those involved. Statistical modelling was undertaken to find the independent factors associated with rates of victimisation and offending relating to serious violence, and these findings are summarised in the chart below. Four separate models are presented looking individually for victims and offenders, for both the ‘most serious violence’ and ‘secondary violence’ offences.

Trends in serious violence experienced by young people

• All types of serious violence experienced by young people have fallen over the last four years for which full data are available between 2017/18 and 2020/21. The exception is homicide for which numbers were fairly steady over this period. Although the final of these four years was seriously impacted by the pandemic, data from early months of the current financial year suggest overall levels of serious violence are still below previous levels.

Victims of serious violence

Offenders accused of serious violence against young people


• Offenders were much more likely to be male than victims. 86% of those accused of the ‘most serious violence’ were male compared with 66% of victims. Ninety-five per cent of offenders accused of knife and gun crime were male, and 94% of offenders accused of homicide.


Understanding serious violence among young people in London

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