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September 13, 2010

Violent crime rates continuing to drop, according to latest FBI numbers

More good news this year on crime rates, as detailed in this Reuters report on the latest data from the FBI:

Violent crime in the United States fell in 2009 for the third straight year, with the number of murders dropping to a level not seen in four decades, according to FBI statistics released on Monday.

Violent crime dropped 5.3 percent in 2009, including a 7.3 percent decline in murders, an 8 percent drop in robberies, a 4.2 percent decline in aggravated assaults and 2.6 percent fall in rapes, according to the final 2009 statistics.

There were 15,241 murders in 2009, authorities reported to the FBI, a level not seen since 1969 when there were 14,760, according to the Justice Department. The number of murders came close to that level in 1999 when there were 15,522.

Property crimes in the United States also fell last year, by 4.6 percent, with motor vehicle thefts plummeting 17.1 percent and burglary down 1.3 percent, the FBI said....

"Although there are many reasons behind the decline, one thing is certain: smarter policing practices and investments in law enforcement play a significant role in reducing violent and property crime," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

While there were declines in the crime rates across the board, the FBI statistics showed increases in residential burglaries, up 1.8 percent, and a larger spike in reported shoplifting, rising 7.9 percent.

This press releasefrom the FBI provides some more of the detailed statistical specifics.  In addition, Jeralyn at TalkLeft here mines some of the FBI arrest data:

There sure were a lot of arrests: The FBI estimates agencies nationwide made about 13.7 million arrests, excluding traffic violations.

The most arrests were for drug offenses: 1.6 million.... Of the drug arrests, 81% were for possession and 18% for manufacturing/distribution.  Of the possession arrests, 45% were for marijuana.

Though many of the usual policy advocates may try to spin these numbers in differing ways to support their reform agendas, everyone should take a moment to simply celebrate the fact that crime rates keep declining.  And all the folks working in the criminal justice system who are committed to helping enhance public safety should be given a collective pat on the back for their hard work and successful efforts.

September 13, 2010 at 11:50 PM | Permalink


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Please, consider these factors, which neither side will.

1) Sentencing guidelines adopted by the federal and state governments incapacitated a larger fraction of the male population. The number of downward deviations from guidelines has not grown much. The making of guidelines discretionary for judges took place 5 years ago. It usually takes 10 years for a law to have its full impact. This factor should be assessed in 5 more years.

2) Obesity. Too fat to act up or even to get up from the couch in the drug house.

3) Video Addiction. Stuck in the house in front of a screen, doing great violence with high tech weapons. Real crime now seems boring, pedestrian, and skimpy.

4) Marijuana consumption to a point of amotivational syndrome.

5) More sex, at a younger age. Too busy getting busy. Crime to impress or support girl friend no longer necessary given level of promiscuity.

6) War on Drugs has caused drug prices to plummet by their over-supply. People on welfare can afford them without lifting a finger to commit any crime.

7) This generation of American males have been feminized by their feminist elementary school teachers, and will soon have the crime rates of girls.

8)Lying statistics by PC, pro-criminal FBI lawyers. There is a crime wave in NYC, no matter what the official counts say.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 14, 2010 12:26:27 AM

Before we pat law enforcement on the back too much, lets not forget that what REALLY accounts for these yearly downward trends in crime is the baby boom age phenomenon. In other words, young people tend to produce more of the crimes... and as the US population ages, these numbers become expected!!

In fact, if you look at per ca-pita numbers, based on under 30 age groups, law enforcement is less effective then ever. Perhaps PARTLY because they are spinning wheels on harassing prostitutes and their johns, locking up small time drug users, and sadistically miss treating pornography downloaders (who happen to possess images of some under age models).

Posted by: stat | Sep 14, 2010 3:32:52 AM

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