in Community Safety

London shootings heat map

I’m not usually a fan of heat, or intensity, mapping because people tend to view the hot-spots as in absolute, rather than relative, terms.  However, I think the map below is worth posting.

It has been produced by Colin Drane who runs SpotCrime.com and is a heat map compiled from the last 100 shooting related incidents he could find from the media (rather than using official figures). Obviously media reporting is a key factor in fear of crime, but paradoxically Wandsworth, which has low gun-enabled crime rates and is very cool on this map, has a fear of gun crime way above the London average.

London shooting heat map

I did not produce the map (and do not have access to the data) so cannot comment on the accuracy.  However, it matches the impression I have from media coverage of gun related crime and certainly matches my view that there is relatively little gun crime in Wandsworth.

And I’m not going to comment on it beyond posing the question: when gun crime is so low in Wandsworth, and media reporting of gun related crime is low in Wandsworth, why is fear so high?

Leave a Reply

  1. Quite an interesting map, and a valid question. I think the answer lies in the fact that people don’t differentiate gun fear from knife fear from robbery fear etc. A general feeling of unease and fear of violent crime will lead to increased fear of gun crime. The media reports of gun crimes in the area may be low but the reporting of knife crime in south london has been feverish this last year.

    I have to make the comment that shootings don’t represent all gun crime. I would be interested to see if the map looked any different if armed robberies involving guns were included.

    • An interesting point, I didn’t address fear of other crime directly but generally Wandsworth has lower fear of crime (including violent crime) than the rest of London, which is why fear of gun crime really sticks out.

      Your point regarding the difference between shooting and gun crime is correct. Technically, a banana in a pocket can be used for gun crime if it is intimated that it is actually a gun.

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