Rates of murder and violent crime have fallen more rapidly in the UK in the past decade than many other countries in Western Europe, researchers
The UK Peace Index, from the Institute for Economics and Peace, found UK homicides per 100,000 people had fallen from 1.99 in 2003, to 1 in 2012.
The research by the international non-profit research organisation comes as a separate study by Cardiff University suggests the number of people treated in hospital in England and Wales after violent incidents fell by 14% in 2012.
Some 267,291 people required care - 40,706 fewer than in 2011 - according to a sample of 54 hospital units, its report said.
BBC home editor Mark Easton called it the riddle of peacefulness and said the fall in violence was perhaps a symptom of a new morality .
I do wonder whether the analysis is focusing on traditional social and criminal justice theories when the answer to the quite remarkable drop in violence may lie somewhere else entirely. Could it be that global communication
is having a calming effect on people's behaviour?
For its inaugural index, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which defined peace as the absence of violence or fear of violence , used Home Office data on crime, such as public disorder offences and weapons crime, and police
It found the violent crime rate was down by about one quarter - from 1,255 per 100,000 people in 2003, to 933 in 2012. This was a more rapid fall than the average decrease across western Europe for that period.
These reductions came despite a 6% drop in the number of police officers per 100,000 people, it said.