Friday, October 13, 2006

Who's Violent?

When I attended grad school at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, there was a general sneering that America had become a wasteland of cheap consumerism and violence. While we certainly have a lot of the former, it looks like those snooty UK chaps who thought we were a particularly violent breed need to think again. Via the BBC:
Scotland has been named the most violent country in the developed world by a United Nations report.

The study found that, excluding murder, Scots were almost three times as likely to be assaulted as Americans.

Victims of crime in 21 countries were interviewed by the UN, but senior Scots police officers criticised the study.

The survey concluded that 2,000 Scots were attacked every week. That figure is 10 times the number recorded in official police figures.

'Upward trend'

The figure for Scotland dwarfs that of other developed nations such as Japan, where people are 30 times less likely to be attacked.

The study, based on telephone interviews conducted between 1991 and 2000, said 3% of people in Scotland had suffered an assault, while the figure for England and Wales was second highest at 2.8%.

Both Australia and New Zealand had the next highest proportion of assaults among their population at 2.4%, exactly double the level reported for the United States.
Anytime Brits want to criticize Americans for their violent tendencies they should remember we were born out of their own imperial meatgrinder.