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Global homicide rate rises for first time in more than a decade

The global homicide rate rose last year for the first time in more than a decade, with marked increases in Venezuela and Jamaica, a study has shown.The Small Arms Survey report, published on Thursday, estimated that 385,000 people were killed in homicides across the world in 2016, an increase of 8,000 on the previous year.

Despite that, the report estimated that the overall number of violent deaths had decreased, primarily as a result of fewer people being killed in wars in 2016 than in 2015. Of the five countries with the highest violent death rates in 2016 – Syria, El Salvador, Venezuela, Honduras, and Afghanistan – only two had armed conflicts last year.

The researchers noted that while the increase in the homicide rate “does not necessarily indicate a new trend … it signals growing insecurity in non-conflict areas”. Taking into account population rises, 2016 had a global homicide rate per 100,000 of 5.15 – 0.04 points higher than in 2015. “As the uptick in homicides affects far more people’s perceptions of local security than does the drop in conflict deaths, however, the overall decrease in violent deaths is unlikely to lead to an increased sense of safety at the global scale,” the researchers said.(theguardian)…[+]