Monday, July 03, 2006

The Wild, Wild West(ern Europe)

Here’s something to consider as the hurricane season approaches: remember Katrina and lawless New Orleans (better known as N’awlins to some of us)?

New Orleans has a pretty horrendous crime rate, wouldn’t you say? Ranks right up there with Los Angeles, Chicago, Cincinnati - all those cities that the MSM tells us are failing. Which perhaps they are, by American terms.

However, let’s compare the crime rate in lawless New Orleans with the crime rate in, say, the city it was named for: Orléans, France. In New Orleans, the per capita rate is given in the hundred thousands. Thus, according to this report, the 2004 rate for New Orleans, for all crime, was 6,110.3 per 100,000 population. Pretty awful, when you compare it to say, Minneapolis, which is only 6,278.2 per 100,000 people. Oops. There goes Minneapolis.

Well, never mind. There’s a law-abiding city out there somewhere. Let’s try the gang city - Los Angeles. 4,347.4 per 100,000. Hmm…all those illegal aliens and Los Angeles comes in below New Orleans? Are we missing something here? Find the moral, Waldo.

But wait. I set out to compare the gun-owning, rip-snorting, trouble-making American criminal element in New Orleans with its counterpart in Orléans, France. Everyone knows Europe is more evolved than America, more sophisticated, more law-abiding – they sure have plenty of laws to abide by, don’t they? The European species is more restrained, civilized, blah blah, than the crude Homo americanus vulgaris.

Heh. Orléans’ crime rate is 109.24 per thousand people. In our terms, that translates to 10,100 per hundred thousand. So, extrapolating further, Orléans, France, has roughly sixty seven percent more crime than Mayor Nagin’s soggy fair city.

I got this idea from Paul Belien, who reported that

According to Urban Audit, Liège has the highest crime rate of all European cities (EU27), with 256.13 recorded crimes per 1,000 population in 2001.

Hmm…that was five years ago. What do you suppose it is now? The statistics for American crime were drawn from the figures in 2004, three years later.

In researching the numbers, I came across two interesting sites. The first one, entitled “The United States versus the World” bemoans our incarceration rate. Cuba comes in for kudos because of its humane treatment of prisoners:

In Cuba, the emphasis is more on rehabilitation and a return to the community than on punishment or societal isolation. Prisoners are allowed to wear street clothes, earn a comparable income (to that of a free person who holds the same occupation), and are incarcerated in their home province no matter what their security level is. Additionally, prisoners become eligible for a conditional release program halfway through their sentence (for sentences of under five years), through which they work on farms or in factories with co-workers who are not informed of their prisoner status. Through this program, offenders are also able to visit their families at home (unsupervised) twice a month for three days at a time.

Of course, the words “political prisoner” never appears anywhere in this “report.” Just ask The Ladies in White what they think of this load of horse manure.

Another site proved more interesting. This was a blog called “Useful Fools” but it doesn’t seem to have been updated recently. Nonetheless, it floats out there in cyberspace with some good statistics for 2003:

Jacques le RipperHere are Interpol 2001 crime statistics (rate per 100,000):

  • 4161 — US
  • 7736 — Germany
  • 6941 — France
  • 9927 — England and Wales

Thus the US has a substantially lower crime rate than the major European countries!

Here are the Interpol 1995 crime statistics (rate per 100,000):

  • 5278 — US
  • 8179 — Germany
  • 6316 — France
  • 7206 — England & Wales

Hence the trend in the US is towards a lower crime rate, while the trend in Europe (except Germany) is towards an increasing crime rate.

In America, your chances for violence increase if you’re dealing drugs or if you’re married. In Europe, it’s open season on everyone. Equal opportunity hate crimes, perhaps?

By the way, Mr. Belien allows as to how he would feel safer in New Orleans.


M. Simon said...

We had a similar problem with incarceration rates during alcohol prohibition. Murder rates went way up too. (something I note you didn't look at).

This time around it is drug prohibition. Some (including the current Mayor Daley of Chicago) say that it causes as much as 85% of all non-drug related crime.

You want to see a really low crime country? Do what we did in 1933. End Prohibition.

X said...

Completely off topic, but I was just looking up some figures about Holland.

Zerosumgame said that 50,000 people are leaving holland every year. Big impressive sounding figurem, and last year it was definitely true, though the figure was much lower in previous years. Dutch emigration is picking up quite rapidly, to be sure. However, over the last 5 years, 20,000 somalis (muslim or otherwise) living in Holland moved on to the UK, where it's easier to get state benefits. that's just Somali immigrants; africa is a big place, and Holland has had a lot of immigrants. However, Holland is now severely curtailing its benefits system and is has tightened up its immigration system, requiring work permits and holding immigrants in detention centres until they're deprted or can prove they need to stay, which makes me wonder wonder how many of those native dutch are leaving because of immigration, and how many have decided to proverbialy run to canada at the state of their country "abandoning" its liberal past, and how many of these "natives" are actually immigrants moving on to new pastures.

Washington Times story,

X said...

There's also a good article on the subject here.

Sorry about the OT.

Now, I don't see GoV particularly gloating about anything. The writers here strike me as a fairly level-headed pair. I agree with ths piece too; the number of tiems I've had to tell people about rthe relative crime rates in the US and, say, Britain... it really annoys me that our emdia always hides this.

Actually the comparison between the US as a single country, and various countries over here, isn't really fair. Fairer would be to compare, say, Florida or New York with the UK. Now NY, I believe, has a fairly similar crime statistic to Britain and probably higher now that I think about it. Florida, with much more freedom of gun ownership and property defence, has a massively lower crime statistic. The crims are too scared to break in to people's houses because they know they'll be shot if they do. In fact, they're scared to do a lot of things, because you can shoot someone, hang them over your window as if they were breaking in and no questons will be asked. It sounds barbaric to the kind of people who have high fences, 24 hour bodyguards and security cameras around their homes - in other words, people who have no idea how the world works anymore - and to the sort of people who don't have to live with caily crime, but it bloody well works.

Dymphna said...

conservative mutant--

You're right: that's a great blog. Very mordant and amusing! Definitely one for the blogroll.


JC supercop--

If you don't like the blog, just move along, sonny...see the button up on the right of the page? Next blog? Push it.

I simply do not understand people who show up to complain about how they don't like some post or other. Don't you have anything better to do with your time?

As for Belien's belief or lack of it, who gives a fig if you, personally, don't like this feature of his? And you're right: it *is* a feature, it's not a bug...he's not working to remove it. Nor are we, JC.

Know something? You're daft. Anyone who uses the nic you do to complain about someone else's belief in a deity has got bats in his belfry.

I like Paul Belien and I will continue to champion his cause. Stick it, chum.

Having the perogatives of a blog administrator, and not being nearly as nice as the Baron, if you come 'round here again with that attitude, I'll boot your butt outen the door.

As my sainted Irish mither would have said, you're an idjit. Go be dumb somewhere else.

Dymphna said...


I agree. If we freed all the drug users (I have my doubts about the big sellers -- some wicked, wicked dudes) we'd be doing the country a service. While generally I like privatizing jobs that business can do better than can gummint, I do think the move to privatize prisons was a mistake. It became a growth industry.

I know a few former drug "felons" who ended up in the hoosegow after failing at rehab. Intelligent and funny people who deserved a better break. One of them -- who as a convicted felon couldn't vote -- was the town's manager for Ralph Nader's last campaign. We are still friends, even though our politics are from different planets.

Another problem we could greatly reduce is the number of domestic violence murders. Our legal/judicial system doesn't treat those seriously *enough* and chronic cases end up lethal.

Paradoxically, we could improve things by treating women more seriously. The fact that in my state a woman can cry "rape" even when she and her companion were equally intoxicated at the time is an indicator that women aren't seen as full adults. This happens on college campuses all the time and the administrators leap into the fray by mandating "date rape" clasees for all the men and no mandatory AA meetings for anyone. It's disgusting.

Dymphna said...

well, jesus, you can't say I didn't warn you.

Go start your own blog, jc, and get your big feet off my lawn.

Dymphna said...

I think jc is a troll who's been here before. Click his profile and notice it was created in July, 2006. New name, same old gar-bage...more likely his name is Legion.

Don't bother responding, mackety. He doesn't do dialogue, just hate. And then he wants you to argue with him...some people don't get the difference between ranting and dialogue. He's an example of one of those unfortunates, and the price one pays for having a comments section.

While the *real* Jesus Christ said we have to love our enemies, he didn't say we couldn't have any...and this troll definitely fits that category.

Be warned, though: he's wasting your time and energy. If he were for real, he'd never have stopped to comment in the first place since he has nothing to add to the conversation, but lots to dither about. Someone who chooses to denigrate a writer -- in this case, Belien -- because of his religious beliefs, or his lack of them, isn't a serious person.

Moving on, does anyone have something to add to m. simon's ideas in the first comment?

enuff said...

While this poll reflects those of Great Britain, one could argue that the sentiments of those on the continent of Eurabia proper are probably far harsher:

'Most Britons see America as a cruel, vulgar, arrogant society, riven by class and racism, crime-ridden, obsessed with money and led by an incompetent hypocrite.

More than two-thirds who offered an opinion said America is essentially an imperial power seeking world domination. And 81 per cent of those who took a view said President George W Bush hypocritically championed democracy as a cover for the pursuit of American self-interests.

For all the failures of the Great European Adventure, there is one accomplishment of the old Euro-Arab Dialogue and its successor, the Euro-Med Institute, which sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb, the vilification of the United States.

Facts be damned…maintain and embrace the illusions of greatness and success of Eurabia’s party line!

Dymphna said...


I went to the URL you linked to re Dutch emigration. Good article.

And then I looked at the larger site and whoowhee --looks like a version of Truthout: large doses of paranoia and Bush Derangement Syndrome. The strangest feature was a book proclaiming Pope Paul VI had a double...creepy stuff!

I will say they are equal op paranoiacs, as they have another one up on the Masons.

But the majority of stuff is BDS and Holocaust hysteria.

Dymphna said...


I'm planning a post for 4th of July which will feature a British writer's ideas about why America is a success. I figure it ought to come from the British Isles since that's our origination,too.

IOW, I want to show that the tide (and the tune) may be changing...

bordergal said...

Figures in the UK may be questionable given the direction to the police to "warn off" many first time offenders. I was surprised by some of the crimes that were considered caution only, e.g. burglary.

Of course, that makes certain that they remain first time offenders for ever.

Theodore Dalrymple had a piece on how British police are now focused on items like hate crimes and traffic instead of street crimes.

Putting criminals behind bars is not shameful. BEING a criminal is shameful, as is allowing them to continue their depredations on honest citizens.

X said...

Enuf, there's a poll from about 6 months ago that shows similar statistics to the one that you've just posted, but it also mentioned that the majority of the respondents trusted the television more than politicians. Similar numbers for other media. Given that, and given the severe anti-americanism that our media suffer from all the time, is it any wonder that a population fed on a steady diet of "bush is evil" and "the americans are all fat slobs, even their movies say so!" are reacting so? The majority in this country get theri entire view of the world from the BBC, not through choice, but because they aren't aware of the alternatives. And those alternatives are, of course, denigrated by the BBC and other media, which the population trust implicitly, so they refuse to consider them...

It's reaching a tipping point though. Sooner or later reality fails to match up to the fantasy on the screen and people start to think. And I've said it before: polls reflect exactly what the polsters want them to reflect. It's so easy to load the questions and, anyway, you can just play with the ansers until you get the picture you want...

In Russet Shadows said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
In Russet Shadows said...

The NRA has been all over this trend for about a year, now. They've been covering the results of the British gun ban and the right of the criminals to "burgle". No lie. Check out NRA news and they'll probably have some stuff there. I get America's First Freedom (monthly mag) and that's where they've been digging up this info.

Gloating? Do you really think that we're gloating that any innocent person is killed? Or that some are killed more there as opposed to here? Think again, bucko. The info in the post is simply correcting widely-held misperceptions and slamming European elite hypocrisy.

Comparing countries to countries is necessary, because that's the level at which the rhetoric flies. No-one from "over there" is running around comparing the UK or Belgium, etc. to Florida. I think you all know why -- that would seriously impinge upon the European country's sense of pride. Why, is the best they can do make a comparison to one or two states in the US? They won't argue that way. If I was them, I wouldn't either.

Jake said...

My personal experiences with crime on both sides of the Atlantic below...

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

In the 50s and 60s I'm told (by those that did so) a young lady could hitch hike from the arctic circle to the mediterranean in Europe without having a bad experience.

In the mid-90s you could still wander freely through just about any town in western europe - day or night - without having to worry about running into bad suburbs (been there, did that myself), or be worried about more than pickpockets on the trains. But the signs were appearing - areas in urban Holland and France where white people were just not welcome.


Its a damn shame to say the least. Going downhill fast :(. I want the old Old Europe back.

Zerosumgame said...

I'm feeling a little lazy today, but is there any data comparing violent crime rates between American cities and European ones?

I would venture that European cities are not yet caught up in murder rates with American cities, although I'm sure the gap is closing -- as much due to drops in murder in American cities (New York went from 2,300 in 1990 to 550 murders last year) as it is to rising murder rates in Europe.

ppab said...


Should the Baron ever get bored, perhaps he could use his geospatial coding skillz to illustrate the numbers you speak of.

Something like "Ever Bloodier Union," perhaps?

Also, to the gn0b criticism of Belien:

Isn't it worth asking if his statements re: the less preferred status of "secular" procedures can be verified by criteria that do not include values unique to religion (I'm not sure I can conceive of any...which brings up a whole other interesting topic...)?

Belien's criticisms are interesting because I think they play in Daniel Dennets world in which religion is not simply a differentiating badge but a causal actor that plays in all realms of human affairs: cultural, political, economic etc.

In this respect, perhaps we can consider values that are labeled as "religious" to be not so mysterious or impossible to evaluate and communicate; indeed, Huntington's vision of our future would demand that culture be evaluated along the lines that Dennet proposes. And 9/11 has compelled many do to just that from both sides of the political spectrum.

While intriguing, what stumps me is how you represent culture in an objective fashion. Certainly, the internet allows interesting visualizations of cultural groups, and you can get a Google divination on how popular a cultural term is. But the science of culture has yet its renaissance, though the pressures documented in the Gates of Vienna are cataloguing its progress. Indeed, Baron's Bloody Borders project was just such an entrant.

Dymphna said...


I don't know if the comparisons are there, though one could make them from using various statistics. Here, I used a European site and an American one, and had to do the math since the former used a rate per thousand capita, where the US site used 100,000. Also, I couldn't get corresponding years. The US ones were more recent.

One has to be wary of the whole darn thing anyway, as there are good reasons for citing low and high by different municipalities and different law enforcement agencies...

The post really got started when I noticed Paul Belien's stats for Liége and was amazed at how high it was. I wrote to ask where he got his #s and he sent me to the site.

There are so many variables. I would agree that America has a higher murder rate and always will have, given our frontier history, our 2nd amendment ferocity, and (currently) the internecine drug wars and territorial disagreements among gangs.

In the latter case, as in domestic violence, it is not "stranger" crime; these people know one another.

However, paradoxically, I think that the gun laws here keep things safer for the general population, as studies have proved over and over again. Even criminals play the odds.

Your chances for murder and mayhem go up to the extent you hang with the thugs or you have the misfortune to have a mate with a short fuse and a .45...I've met some of the latter in my former work.

One of the saddest things Britain ever did was to disarm its citizens. Stalin said that was the easiest way to undermine the populace. Turns out he was right.

BTW, I wonder if anyone has done correlating statistics between murder and those on the dole. *That* would be an interesting study.

Dymphna said...


Check out "one cosmos" on our blogroll. He talks of this on occasion.

His book, "One Cosmos" is also an eye-opener. I esp. like the physics and the archeological/sociological links he makes.

X said...

I don't know about cities in general, but Manchester has one of the highest instances of gun death in the entire country after London, comparable to some US cities. And it's not the highest in europe as far as I know.

Lowest rate of crime per-capita: switzerland, where you're not merely allowed, but required to own a gun.

Pastorius said...

I thought you would find this post from Brussels Journal to be of interest:

Captain USpace said...

WOW, great information, Europe is really a mess. It's in, thanks!

absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
all alcohol illegal...

increase black market profits
corrupt more law enforcement