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Exposed to "The Wire," Londoners confront crime

The Baltimore Sun has an interesting item out of London today:

With the television drama "The Wire" airing here, political and law enforcement leaders recently found themselves in an odd position: defending their streets from comparisons to inner-city Baltimore.
The two places share little in common, from size to currency to demographics. This is a country where guns are rare - both among citizens and the police who walk the streets - and where drugs are harder to come by. Baltimore's murder rate, one of the highest in America, well outstrips Great Britain's, one of the lowest in the world.
But the comparisons tapped into a deeper fear about gun crime, and the state of this country's poor. Police statistics show a 17 percent increase in total gun crimes this year, and a doubling of punishment or "respect" shootings where the intent is not to kill. Nationally, 87 percent of people here believe gun crime is on the rise, with an even greater margin - 93 percent - who believe knife crime is increasing, perhaps fueled by a spate of youth stabbings last year that had parents purchasing body armor for their children.

You can read the full item on The Sun's web site.

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 7, 2009; 1:44 PM ET
Categories:  Around the World , Baltimore  
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