Not really sure what a bad night in Beirut looks like but Nick Draycott seems to know:

“Burglaries rise fast as economy goes slow” was the headline on the front page of the London Times newspaper on 29th June 2011.


A couple of days after the Times article appeared, the figures covering May 2011 for the whole of England and Wales were published on the Police UK website. Type in your postcode and you will be shown a map detailing the month’s crimes broken down into various categories.

Not for the faint hearted, particularly for urban dwellers. The stark data can make genteel Hampstead or Holland Park look like Beirut on a bad night, and pointing out that a certain level of crime is inevitable, particularly in built up areas, does little to reassure those of a nervous disposition.


…if one establishes national benchmarks for crime rates in areas of similar population density i.e., comparing like with like, thereby putting the ‘Beirut effect’ into context, you can get a real indication of whether an area is on the up or the slide.

Apparently, Beirut is the crime capital of the planet. And what the hell is the “Beirut effect”? Of course, if you had a look at The Daily Mail’s 2009 article, you get a different picture:

Britain’s violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European union, it has been revealed.

Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa – widely considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries.

A “Looks Like Beirut” certificate is definitely in order.