London murder rate rises higher than New York in two months, report says

The murder rate in the capital of the U.K. has apparently overtaken the number of killings in one of America's most popular cities. London's crime figures climbed higher against New York in the last two months, a new report says.

(Reuters/Neil Hall)The Elizabeth Tower, which houses the Great Clock and the 'Big Ben' bell, is seen above the Houses of Parliament, in central London, Britain August 14, 2017.

Figures revealed that at least 15 people died due to knife attacks in London in February, while 22 individuals suffered from fatal stabbings in March. These numbers are only slightly higher than New York's murder rate for February (11) and March (21).

Officials at London's City Hall expressed deep concern over the increasing numbers. Former Met police chief, Supt. Leroy Logan, also noted that a "virus of violence" has overtaken the city.

London's Metropolitan Police, however, insisted that London is still "one of the safest in the world." The two-month comparison between cities with roughly the same population might not show the bigger picture.

Additional numbers from the Met showed that there were 18 murders in New York in the first month of this year, while 8 killings took place in London. For the whole year in 2017, London had 116 murders, but New York had 290.

In 1990, New York hit a high record of murders with 2,245, but this rate has dwindled to as much as 87 percent in the last few years. London, on the other hand, saw its killing crimes increase to 40 percent in the last three years, and the numbers don't include acts of terrorism.

The February and March figures highlight a grim warning that crime is indeed on the rise in the Big Smoke even if it's annual crime rate is still generally lower than the Big Apple. Gun laws are also harsher in London than in New York, but there has been an increase in knife crimes and violence using other weapons.

"One murder is one too many," a spokesperson for the Met told reporters. "We are working hard with our partners to understand the increase and what we can all do to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place," the spokesperson added.

New York managed to lower their crime rate in three decades by approaching the problem as a public health concern. MP Sarah Jones from Croydon Central suggested via BBC that using the same strategies might work in London as well.

"Going in at source means major intervention work with youth workers," Jones said. "Inoculating means going into schools, changing the social norms, educating kids, teaching them what it is to be a man, teaching them how they don't need to carry knives," she went on to say.