East London one of the least peaceful places to live in new study

A man in a hoodie holding a knife.

A man in a hoodie holding a knife. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

East London did not fare well in the first ever study to find the most peaceful places to live in the UK.

Figures released in the UK Peace Index (UKPI) on Wednesday ranked Newham as the fourth most violent local authority while Tower Hamlets charted as the fifth worst in the country.

The UKPI report, compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace, looked at four areas in detail - murders, weapons, violence, and public disorder.

In Newham, the murder rate is 4.3 per 100,000 people which is more than double the national average of 1.2 but there is a general downward trend with last year recording a 10-year low of two murders.

In Tower Hamlets, the murder rate has gone up and down, ranging from 11 in one year to none, making it difficult to record an accurate rate although it sits at a level about twice the national average.


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Newham’s weapons crime rate has dropped by 47 per cent from 408 incidents to 216 since 2003.

Weapons crime has also fallen in Tower Hamlets with an overal downward trend of 60 per cent.

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The number and rate of violent crimes has increased over the last decade in both boroughs, meaning they scored the worst score of five on the violent crime indicator.

Public disorder has also risen in Newham since 2002 with last year recording an extra 130 incidents while the same increase is recorded in Tower Hamlets with a rate around 2.3 times the national average.

Cllr Abdal Ullah, Tower Hamlets’ Labour spokesperson for a Safer Borough, linked the statistics to his party’s opposition to the Mayor of London’s proposed closure of police stations in Bow, the Isle of Dogs, and Poplar.

He said: “This report will be a shocking read for many residents but no matter what it says we know that as a community we are standing up to violent crime.

“The report makes clear that poverty is the factor most closely associated with violent crime, yet in one of the country’s most deprived boroughs Boris Johnson still wants to close half of the police stations.”

In the Mayor’s plans, North Woolwich police station is also up for closure but Stratford police station has been saved since.

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