Crime Report: Lewisham

Lewisham’s level of crime overall is below the London average, but while crimes involving property are in line with the lower rates crimes against people, like assault and sexual offences, are above average.

Over the 12 months to March 2015 data from the Metropolitan Police shows that there were 22,000 crimes committed, giving the borough a rate of 75 crimes per 1000 residents. The rate for London is 81.

Crime report Lewisham

Rape and possession of an offensive weapon were higher than the city-wide rate. The picture on drug offences is mixed with 1,093 cases of possession (17% above average) and 128 cases of trafficking (14% below).

3 murders were committed in Lewisham in the 12 months.

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More crime reports



Crime map shows inner-outer divide

More than 700,000 crimes were committed in London in the past year. Urbs has constructed a map to show how crime is distributed across the capital, revealing the clear difference between inner and outer London.

Crime map

The average crime rate across the boroughs is 81 offences per 1000 people. The rate peaks in Westminster at 205 per 1000, but that is to be expected with all the workers, shoppers, tourists and revelers drawn to the area.

Camden, and Kensington and Chelsea have the highest rates after Westminster. In all the boroughs defined as inner London, except Wandsworth and Lewisham, crime is above the average rate. In all the outer boroughs it is below. Some of the outermost boroughs, such as Harrow, Bexley, Richmond and Sutton saw the lowest rates.

On Urbs London you’ll find more detailed breakdowns of the key crime statistics in each borough and how the distribution of certain offences differs across the capital. (See here)


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How London boroughs will rival the ‘Northern Powerhouse’


The Chancellor, George Osborne, is very proud of his concept of the northern powerhouse. He first coined the phrase in Manchester last year and couldn’t help a smile as the Queen used the term in the state opening of parliament this week.

The idea is to build the economy of the cities in the North of England to rival London and the South East. There’s even a government minister for the northern powerhouse. But a look at the economic data shows the scale of the task and underlines the strength of London.

The Office for National Statistics uses GVA (Gross Value Added) to measure the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, sector or area in the UK. Using the latest data for 2013 Urbs compared the North West region of England, which includes Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria with the area classified as Inner London West, which includes the City of London and 5 boroughs – Westminster, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Wandsworth.

North West of England Inner London West
Population 7.1 million 1.1 million
Total GVA £142 billion £151 billion
GVA per head £20,000 £136,000

The figures for Inner London West are inflated by the financial service activity of the City, but demonstrate its economic contribution. The per capita calculation may be unfair as many of the people involved in generating the output of the area in London may live elsewhere.

However, the figures for Inner London East – the 8 boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Haringey, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth – are instructive. These boroughs represent some of the capital’s more deprived areas. The GVA for this area is £87 billion, which translates as £39,000 per head, nearly double that of the North West of England.

Developing a so-called northern powerhouse to redress the North/South divide is widely seen as a good ambition but the hard numbers show that London is likely to remain the real powerhouse of the UK economy.

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See also:

NY beats London in economic power

A fifth of the blazes tackled by fire fighters are started on purpose

© Michael Spring |

Photo: © Michael Spring |

21% of the fires attended by the London Fire Brigade in the past year were started deliberately. The fire and rescue service tackled 19,554 fires in the 12 months to April and 4,122 are judged to have been started on purpose.

Borough level data from the London Fire Brigade shows that in Tower Hamlets deliberate fires make up a third of the 1,023 fires. There were 329 incidents, that’s more than the total of neighbouring Lewisham and Hackney combined.

fires deliberate

Tower Hamlets has the second highest number of fires per 1000 head of population.   The central London borough of Westminster has the highest level. Levels are lower in outer boroughs.

Fires all

Overall the number of fires in the capital in the year to April was down by 5% though there has been a slight upturn in April with the number of fires in the month exceeding 2000 for the first time since April 2011.

Fires peak over the summer months each year with July 2010 the worse month in the period reported with 4,728 fires.

fires annual

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London is rubbish at recycling and many boroughs are getting worse


The rate of recycling and composting of household rubbish in London is well below the average for England and in nearly half the boroughs in London recycling levels are down.

Latest data from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs shows that in 2013/14 across England 43% of the waste collected went for recycling or composting.  In London it was 34%. And the performance of some councils falls well below that.  The lowest rate is in Lewisham and Newham with just 18% of rubbish recycled.  Wandsworth also performed poorly and is one of 15 councils that has seen its rate fall.

Recyling map

In 2011/12 Wandsworth was recycling 28% of collected waste.  In 2013/14 that was down to 20%. Over the same period recycling has dropped in Hammersmith and Fulham from 30% to 21%.

A few boroughs are showing London the way.  Bromley has achieved 50% and in Bexley is has climbed to 55%.

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Jobs concentrated in just 5 of London’s 33 boroughs

people on pavement gloomyNearly 40% of the 5.4 million jobs in London are concentrated in 5 central areas. Westminster dominates the workplace map with more than 700,000 jobs. The City of London ranks second and with the addition of Camden, Tower Hamlets and Southwark the 5 areas account for 2 million jobs.

There are far fewer jobs in the outer boroughs of the capital. Barking and Dagenham has the lowest with just 54,000 followed by Bexley in the south east, Sutton in the south and Waltham Forest in the north east. Hillingdon is the outer London borough that bucks the trend. With 213,000 jobs it is seventh in rank, just behind Islington. 80,000 of the jobs in Hillingdon are at Heathrow Airport.

Jobs per borought map

16% of the jobs in the capital are in the public sector, which is below the 19% national average. However some London boroughs are far more dependent on public sector employment than others. In a central corridor from Tower Hamlets west to Hounslow the public sector makes up a small portion of employment. But in Greenwich it accounts for 27% of jobs. The rate is also high in Newham, Lewisham, Redbridge, and Waltham Forest.

Jobs public sector

Source data:

Employment per borough data  Public sector employment per borough

See also:

Jobs growth shows changing face of work

Self employed map shows huge rise in parts of city

Size matters – and it depends where you live

Obese copyLondon has a lower rate of adult obesity than any other region of England but there are large variations across the capital. 19.6% of Londoners are obese compared to the average for England of 23%. That goes up to a little over 25% in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East.

But levels are even higher in some London boroughs as the map below shows.  Barking and Dagenham has 32% obesity and City of London 31%. That’s nearly three times the level in Kensington and Chelsea with 11.2%. Richmond also scores well with just 12.1% of residents classified as obese. It is double that in Hillingdon, Enfield, Bexley and Lewisham.

The data is based upon the Health Survey for England, the Sport England Active Person Survey and BMI information from the Understanding Society study for Health England.

Obesity is measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. The NHS’s easy calculator is here. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, healthy weight. Below 18.5 is underweight, above 25 is overweight and 30 and above is obese.

Londoners also score well when looking at that data for people at a normal, healthy weight. In London it’s 41% compared to 35% of people across England. And in Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, and Hammersmith and Fulham 50% of people or more are in this category.

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Breast cancer screening lag

Breast cancer scan copyBreast cancer screening rates for London remain below the national average in England for the fifth year in a row. Data analysis by Urbs shows that 68.9% of eligible women aged 53-70 were screened last year. But that’s 9% below the rate for England as a whole.

London has managed to close the gap over the past five years. In 2007-08 London lagged 16% behind the national average.

The data is collected at borough level and shows a clear division in the capital between the performance of inner and outer London. The four best performing boroughs of Havering, Bexley, Bromley, Harrow all beat the average rate for England. The nine worse performing boroughs were all inner city. Islington came bottom, 24% below national average, followed by Kensington and Chelsea, 22% lower.

Islington’s performance has dropped year-on-year by 15%. During the same period the number of eligible women fell by 2%. Lewisham, Sutton, Croydon, Merton and Kingston also saw a drop in their year-on-year figures but all saw some increase in the numbers of eligible women.

671,463 women in London were eligible for breast cancer screening in 2014. Women aged 50-70 are offered the service as they are seen as the highest risk group who can benefit most through screening.

During the process a radiographer creates a special kind of X-ray called a mammogram, where an image of the breast is created by passing very low dose x-rays through the breast tissue.

In a study in 2011 Cancer Research UK estimated that screening saves the lives of approximately 1,300 women each year.

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More information about breast cancer here.