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News & Politics News & Politics

Crime, the reality that some just don't want to see

Posted by on Oct. 29, 2013 at 9:52 AM
  • 7 Replies

After the post about black crime yesterday I did some digging and found this to be very interesting.  

Most Americans Believe Crime in U.S. Is Worsening

Slight majority rate U.S. crime problem as highly serious; 11% say this about local crime

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ -- Despite a sharp decline in the United States' violent crime rate since the mid-1990s, the majority of Americans continue to believe the nation's crime problem is getting worse, as they have for most of the past decade. Currently, 68% say there is more crime in the U.S. than there was a year ago, 17% say less, and 8% volunteer that crime is unchanged.

Perceptions of Trend in Crime Problem Nationally -- 1989-2011

In contrast to the 68% of Americans who say crime is getting worse nationally, 48% say crime in their local area is worsening. However, the trend in perceptions of local crime follows the same pattern. Nearly half of Americans say there is more crime where they live today than there was a year ago, similar to the percentage saying this in the past several years, as well as when crime was rising in the early 1990s.

Perceptions of Trend in Crime Problem Locally -- 1989-2011

Gallup's crime perception trends do show that Americans grew significantly more positive about the direction of crime between 1996 and 2001. Attitudes were the most positive in 2001, when slightly more Americans said crime in the U.S. was declining rather than increasing. This was at a time when the number of violent crimes per 1,000 people nationally had already fallen dramatically, from roughly 51 in 1994 to 25 in 2001, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. Since then, violent crime victimization has dropped an additional 40%, descending to 15 crimes per 1,000 in 2010. The trend in property crime has also declined over this period, falling by 28%.

U.S. Violent Crime Rate, U.S. Justice Department Statistics, 1973-2010

Ratings of Seriousness of Crime More Stable

A separate Gallup measure asks Americans to rate the seriousness of the crime problem today, both in the U.S. and where they live. In contrast to Americans' responses to the question asking if the crime problem is getting better or getting worse, responses to this "current situation" question have been largely flat since these measures were established in 2000. For most of this period, the majority have said crime in the U.S. is extremely or very serious, while just over 10% have said this about crime in their local area.

2000-2011 Trend: Percentage Rating Crime Problem as Extremely/Very Serious

Thus, even though the majority of Americans in recent years have said the problem of crime is worsening, their ratings of the seriousness of the crime problem both in the U.S. and where they live have not changed a great deal.

About 4 in 10 Feel Unsafe Walking Near Their Home at Night

Despite the relatively low level of concern about local crime, 38% of Americans say there is an area within a mile of where they live where they would feel unsafe walking alone at night. Gallup has been using this measure of Americans' feelings of security from crime for more than 45 years, and the responses have ranged from a high of 48% in 1982 to a low of 30% in 2001. The 2001 low point was measured within weeks of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that temporarily lowered Americans' concerns about conventional crime while elevating concerns about a terrorist attack. Since that point, feelings of being unsafe based on this measure have risen somewhat, although they are not quite as high now as they were from the late 1970s through the early 1990s.

Fear of Walking Alone at Night Where You Live -- 1965-2011

Bottom Line

The government's U.S. crime statistics have been improving steadily over the past 15 years, but several Gallup measures of Americans' perceptions of crime, after growing more positive for a brief period a decade ago, have edged back to a more highly negative outlook. More than half now say the nation's crime problem is extremely or very serious, and two-thirds say it is getting worse.

This unwarranted pessimism may stem from the imperfect indications of crime that Americans receive from the news and other sources, as well as Americans' overall mood. In line with this point, the view that crime is worsening could reflect the broader decline in Americans' optimism about the country, as satisfaction with the way things are going declined from 71% in 1999 to 7% in 2008; and, after slightly higher ratings in 2009 and 2010, it is now back down to 13%. Whatever the case, there is a positive story to be told about the nation's violent crime problem that Americans haven't yet fully heard or absorbed.

by on Oct. 29, 2013 at 9:52 AM
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PrimmednPunked
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Violent crime in America–lowest levels since 1973. Americans in cities remain confused.

Dear readers: In a day of huge budget cuts to criminal justice agencies and overall economic doom and gloom, crime continues to do down throughout America. Generally speaking, its been going down for the last 20 years.

But every time we post national crime data (see below) about decreasing crime we get calls and e-mails from people who live in crime-prone areas angry and confused; “if crime is going down so much,” they say “then why is there so much crime in my city?”

The answer is that “your city” does not represent the norm in America and we bet that crime “has” gone down in your city; just not enough. You hear and read about violent crimes in the media, you see the graffiti and trash, you hear about businesses moving and schools not doing well because of crime. As far as you are concerned, your city has an enormous crime problem that continues to drag the entire area down socially, economically and physically.

Our cities are seemingly the last frontier (at least for the moment) regarding crime and it will take a concentrated effort on the part of every citizen, business person and politician in cooperation with the criminal justice system to deal with it.

We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to attack crime in cities. National and regional crime rates will not continue on a downward trend forever. We need to act now while we still have a chance.

The report:

VIOLENT AND PROPERTY CRIME RATES DECLINED IN 2009, CONTINUING THE TREND OBSERVED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS

WASHINGTON – The violent crime rate declined from 19.3 to 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons during 2009, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today. This decline continued a longer-run decline from 51.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 1994 and brought violent crime rates to their lowest levels since 1973, the first year that BJS collected data from crime victims through its National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS).

The property crime rate declined during 2009 from 134.7 to 127.4 crimes per 1,000 households, primarily as a result of a decrease in theft.  This decline continued a longer-term trend of declining rates from 553.6 crimes per 1,000 households in 1975. 

In 2009, an estimated 4.3 million violent crimes (rapes or sexual assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults and simple assaults) occurred, as well as an estimated 15.6 million property crimes (burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and household thefts) and 133,000 personal thefts (picked pockets and snatched purses). These offenses included both crimes reported and unreported to police.

Violent and property crime rates in 2009 remain at the lowest levels recorded since 1973, the first year that such data were collected. The rate of every major violent and property crime measured by BJS fell between 2000 and 2009. The overall violent crime rate fell 39 percent and the property crime rate declined by 29 percent during the last 10 years.

Between 2000 and 2009, the rate of firearm violence declined from 2.4 incidents per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to 1.4 per 1,000 persons. Offenders used firearms in 8 percent of all violent crimes in 2009.

In 2009, men were slightly more likely than women to be victims of violent crime.  Women were more likely than men to be victimized by someone they knew. Seventy percent of all violent crimes against women were committed by a known offender (an intimate, family member or friend/acquaintance), compared to 45 percent of violence against men. Twenty-six percent of the non-fatal violence against women was committed by an intimate (current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend), compared to 5 percent of the violence against men. 

Nearly half of all violent crimes and about 40 percent of all property crimes were reported to police in 2009.  Of the violent crimes, robbery (68 percent) and aggravated assault (58 percent) were most reported. Fifty-five percent of rape/sexual assaults and 42 percent of simple assaults were reported to the police. A higher percentage of motor vehicle thefts (85 percent) than burglaries (57 percent) and thefts (32 percent) were reported to police.

These findings are drawn from BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the nation’s primary source for information on the frequency, characteristics and consequences of criminal victimization. Conducted since 1973, the NCVS is one of the largest continuous surveys conducted by the Federal government. In 2009, 38,728 households and 68,665 individuals age 12 or older were interviewed twice during the year for the NCVS.

Estimates from the NCVS, which includes offenses both reported and unreported to police, complement those from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), which measures crimes reported to law enforcement agencies across the Nation. Unlike the NCVS, the UCR includes crimes against persons of all ages and businesses, as well as fatal crimes. UCR results released by the FBI in September showed a 6.1 percent decline in the rates of violent crimes reported to the police and a 5.5 percent decline in the rates of property crimes during 2009.

The report, Criminal Victimization, 2009 (NCJ 231327), was written by BJS statisticians Jennifer Truman and Michael Rand. Following publication, the report can be found at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov.

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical reports and programs, please visit the BJS Web site athttp://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov.

PrimmednPunked
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow", speaks at the University of Chicago

JanuaryBaby06
by on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM

This is somethign I actually I knew. ITs the media makes things seem worse because it seems likethey cover everythin es. local and blo it up. ALso if you were shelered and your new to following the news and whatnot, it seems worse. THe mor you follo the news the more you see.

sarahjz
by Bronze Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Interesting. TFS.
PrimmednPunked
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM
1 mom liked this

I blame it on the 24/7 news.  They have nothing to report on anymore so when they get a story they run with it.  

Quoting JanuaryBaby06:

This is somethign I actually I knew. ITs the media makes things seem worse because it seems likethey cover everythin es. local and blo it up. ALso if you were shelered and your new to following the news and whatnot, it seems worse. THe mor you follo the news the more you see.


romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:35 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting PrimmednPunked:

I blame it on the 24/7 news.  They have nothing to report on anymore so when they get a story they run with it.  

Quoting JanuaryBaby06:

This is somethign I actually I knew. ITs the media makes things seem worse because it seems likethey cover everythin es. local and blo it up. ALso if you were shelered and your new to following the news and whatnot, it seems worse. THe mor you follo the news the more you see.


All those channels.  All that airtime to be filled.  

I'm old enough to remember when you had an hour of nightly local news and half an hour of national news.  That was it, all the news that was fit to print or view.

Now it's all day, every day, all over.  If things are not sensationalized, if they don't have a carcass to pick over, they have to invent one.

PrimmednPunked
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:53 AM
I remember that too. Channel 13 for our favorite local news then after that the evening news with Dan Rather. You were not bombarded with images of crime and horrible things all day. Now, well you already said it.

Quoting romalove:


Quoting PrimmednPunked:

I blame it on the 24/7 news.  They have nothing to report on anymore so when they get a story they run with it.  

Quoting JanuaryBaby06:

This is somethign I actually I knew. ITs the media makes things seem worse because it seems likethey cover everythin es. local and blo it up. ALso if you were shelered and your new to following the news and whatnot, it seems worse. THe mor you follo the news the more you see.


All those channels.  All that airtime to be filled.  

I'm old enough to remember when you had an hour of nightly local news and half an hour of national news.  That was it, all the news that was fit to print or view.

Now it's all day, every day, all over.  If things are not sensationalized, if they don't have a carcass to pick over, they have to invent one.

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