New York murders fell dramatically when hospitals were compelled to admit critical cases irrespective of insurance cover, cutting the lag before treatment and thus the chance of survival by a crucial 20 to 23 minutes.
And whether or not it\’s an entirely true one is another matter.
Yet there is a truth in it: some part of the fall in murder rates is indeed as a result of medical treatment getting better.
People who would have died in previous decades, and thus been murder victims, now survive and are thus not.
All of which leads to an interesting question.
If we look specifically at cases still considered homicide at the end of the period (as the House of Commons Library did in 1999), then the change in the murder rate between 1967 (the earliest year for which data is available) and 1997 is more modest. In 1967 this rate stood at 7.3, and reached a peak of 12.8 in 1995, falling slightly to 12.4 in 1997. In this analysis therefore, the homicide rate did not quite double.
Given that, if the attempted murder rate had stayed static over this time period, we would have expected the murder rate to have fallen, what in buggery has been happening in the UK to the attempted murder rate?