The Mayor of London became the most recent public official from the city to call out Baltimore for its high crime levels. In a statement yesterday the Mayor had the following to say about our lovely city.
“Someone the other day compared London with Baltimore, absolute nonsense. You know, this programme, The Wire in Baltimore. There are 35 murders per 100,000 in Baltimore, there are approximately three murders per 100,000 in London. It is far, far more dangerous in Baltimore than it is in London, especially for gun crime.”
Several months ago the London Police Commissioner also claimed that London was much better off than Baltimore after he was blamed for the increase in gun crime on London streets. Londoners have just discovered The Wire. It comes on right after Mr. Bean. Since then British politicians have been using Baltimore as an insult against competing political parties. The Independent, a London newspaper, sent correspondent Mark Hughes to Baltimore to find out if Baltimore is really like how it is portrayed in The Wire. If you followed his blog in The Sunpapers, it was interesting, but did little to dispel Londoners views of Baltimore as a haven for gangsters, guns and drugs. A series of articles based on the reporter’s experience in Baltimore are now running in The Independent.
One interesting fact that was pointed out in one of the articles is that if you do not have a criminal record your chances of being murdered in Baltimore drop to similar levels as exist in London. However the reporter did not take the time to visit places such as Federal Hill, Canton, Fells Point, Hampden, Mt. Vernon and Roland Park where these very low murder rates exist. Hughes spent the whole time on police ride-alongs on the Eastern and Western Districts. This is exemplified by the picture of McNulty standing in front of a group of boarded up row houses (above) being used in one of the articles. If he had taken some more time to get to know Baltimore I am sure he would find she is a great city with much to offer.
And since when is London so great? Ooooo, we have big clock and it rains all the time. Our food is terrible and the only hot girl we ever produced, Emma Watson, is now living in the United States. I loved this comment directed towards the British reporter by a Baltimore poster on one of the articles that ran in the Independent,
“But when I read a smug piece like yours, I feel profoundly grateful that our garrison at Fort McHenry did such a good job of pummeling your navy.”
Sorry, I am getting a little defensive. I have heard good things about London, and I actually really enjoy the articles and highly recommend reading them. It was interesting to get a foreigner’s perspective on our city. Hughes was sent over here to find out if The Wire is realistic, and I think that he found that, as we already regrettably know, to be true. There are some great aspects of Baltimore, but we have a lot of work to do as well if we do want to turn The Wire into fiction.