British Reporter Comparing “The Wire” To Baltimore Crime Realities


When “The Wire” gained popularity in Great Britain, Mark Hughes, a crime reporter with The Independent, a national newspaper in the United Kingdom, wanted to come to Baltimore to see if the city’s police officers, drug dealers, prosecutors ,and politicians bore any resemblance to those on the show. The Baltimore Sun agreed to an exchange, sending police reporter Justin Fenton to London to compare crime trends. The Sun will publish their work in the print edition and at

Says Hughes: “Statistically, Baltimore’s real-life crime figures seem to suggest the fictional drama matches the reality.” Last year, one in every 2,700 people was murdered. In Britain that figure is about one in 85,000.” He adds: “While ‘The Wire’ has been an unmitigated success in most quarters, I am acutely aware that the place it received the most hostile reception was, not surprisingly, Baltimore. Both the mayor and the current police administration are keen to distance themselves from the program. They say it is not realistic.”

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