Tag Archives: crime rates

Crime Rates Drop, Crime Fear Rises!

One of the mysteries of life is why people in urban areas and throughout most industrial societies insist they need guns to protect themselves against criminals. In the 1970s there were over 2,000 murders a year in New York City, but today the figure is under 700. However, talk to people on Long Island and they will mumble fears about “going into the city” because they might be mugged or killed. The just released British Crime Survey reveals the number of murders is at a 20 year low. Thefts and domestic burglaries are slightly up, but the overall crime rate is down b y 5%. However, most surveys of public opinion reveal the population believes crime rates are going up.

As a teacher of a history of crime course which ordinarily contains several police officers, I am amused how by the end of the course they shake their heads and mumble they never realized how greater crime was in the past than today. It would help if schools offered courses in the history of crime in order to make people aware they live in the safest time period in human history in terms of crime.

Of course, proponents of guns insist that crime is everywhere although there is no statistical evidence to support this view. Open a book on the history of crime and you will discover how crime in the past was more prevalent in the daily lives of people and more dangerous.

Immigrant Crime Wave– A Modern Myth

Among the prevalent ideas propogated by those opposing immigration is the presence of these “foreigners” invariably leads to higher crime. In a wide-ranging police study just released in Great Britain the myth is placed to rest in the halls of mythology. The report which will be presented to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith concludes rates for immigrant crime are in line with those of the native born population. “Any rise has been broadly proportinate to the number of people from those communities coming into this country. People are saying crime is rising because of this influx. Given 1 mllion people have come in, that doesn’t make sense as crime is significantly down.” Last year crime dropped about 9% in England and Wales.

The common-sense conclusions of the report indicate there are always some cultural differences when new groups enter a nation. For example, the report indicates Polish people have a slightly higher incidence of drunk driving due to heavy consumption of alcohol and and some Romanian children being used as part of robbery attempts. But, as the report notes: “Given the number coming into the country, the problems have been very few in terms of criminality, increases in crime or community tensions.”

Hopefully, the report puts to rest the ongoing cries about the “rise in crime” which have actually never happened.