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  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    29 Aug '12 00:15 / 1 edit
    Article here: http://www.economist.com/node/21560870 Snippets below:

    "Crime in America has plummeted since its numerical peak in 1992; the violent sort by 38%, according to FBI statistics. [...] The truth is that no one predicted America’s great crime decline, and no one has a definitive explanation for it. Particularly confounding has been an acceleration in the drop since 2008; many observers thought a poorer country would be a less law-abiding one."

    The suggestion that No one has a definitive explanation for it made me think that this would be tailor made for a Debate Forum discussion.

    The article is interesting; here are a few snippets from it:

    * Naturally, police departments and politicians take much of the credit. In July Charlie Beck, chief of the LAPD, said that new crime figures showed Los Angeles to be the “safest big city” in the country...

    * The fall in violent crime in Los Angeles began in 1992, a decade before the introduction of Compstat, and a time when the LAPD was hated by many residents, particularly blacks and Latinos.

    * Everything from the removal of lead from petrol to the increased prescription of psychiatric drugs has been credited with the decline.

    * A controversial theory proposed in 2001 by two academics, Steven Levitt (of “Freakonomics” fame) and John Donohue, which attributed half the previous decade’s drop in crime to the legalisation of abortion in the 1970s, still has fans.

    * Today there is growing interest in the role of video games and social-media technologies in providing young men, who are responsible for the lion’s share of violent crimes, with alternative ways to spend their time.

    * Other analysts look to structural or demographic explanations. Jack Levin, a criminology professor at Northeastern University in Boston, acknowledges the success of policing strategies, but notes that an ageing society like the United States should expect to experience less violent crime.

    * Immigration also matters, he says: studies have repeatedly shown that cities with large immigrant populations experience lower rates of violent crime.

    * Then there is the awkward issue of incarceration. America continues to lock up a scandalously large number of its people: around 1% of the adult population is behind bars at any time. But, says Mr Levin, “the relationship between the incarceration rate and the violent-crime rate is not very strong.”

    * An emerging challenge for police in some cities is that tactics that prove effective in the short term may also lose them trust. Their widely used “stop-and frisk” powers in New York City, for example, may have taken thousands of guns off the street, but they have also led to furious allegations of racial profiling. [...] A growing number of police are being killed on duty.

    More theories please; or theories about the theories above.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    29 Aug '12 00:18 / 1 edit
    Medical marijuana?

    Or Tupac's Truce Picnic maybe.
  3. 29 Aug '12 01:45
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Medical marijuana?

    Or Tupac's Truce Picnic maybe.
    One method of lowering crime is to not take reports, or make them more difficult to file. Coleman Young Mayor of Detroit used this crime fighting tactic around the end of the 70s, by taking burglary reports only at police stations instead of the old practice of sending out detectives.

    Fewer reports, fewer burglaries? Well, that's what the numbers said. It was during the 90s that State after State adopted "shall issue" concealed weapons laws. It is thought that the "halo" effect suppresses crime considerably, that is the criminal doesn't know if his selected victim will resist effectively, so he waits for a helpless looking victim.
  4. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    29 Aug '12 01:48
    Originally posted by normbenign
    One method of lowering crime is to not take reports, or make them more difficult to file. Coleman Young Mayor of Detroit used this crime fighting tactic around the end of the 70s, by taking burglary reports only at police stations instead of the old practice of sending out detectives.

    Fewer reports, fewer burglaries? Well, that's what the numbers sai ...[text shortened]... if his selected victim will resist effectively, so he waits for a helpless looking victim.
    What do you think the level of crime is now compared to its purported numerical peak in 1992?
  5. 29 Aug '12 01:56
    Originally posted by FMF
    What do you think the level of crime is now compared to its purported numerical peak in 1992?
    It depends on where you are. Detroit has a third or more less people than in 1992, so comparison is difficult. Denser populated areas tend to have more crime.

    The violent crime here is still mostly connected to drug trafficking. Some regions have new drug problems with meth which didn't exist in 1992. This tends to be a rural and suburban problem compared to heroin and crack which were more urban, not that there isn't spill over of both.

    Nationwide, I couldn't hazard a guess.
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    29 Aug '12 04:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    One method of lowering crime is to not take reports, or make them more difficult to file. Coleman Young Mayor of Detroit used this crime fighting tactic around the end of the 70s, by taking burglary reports only at police stations instead of the old practice of sending out detectives.

    Fewer reports, fewer burglaries? Well, that's what the numbers sai if his selected victim will resist effectively, so he waits for a helpless looking victim.
    Do you think that the crime drop in Los Angeles came from police refusing to file burglary reports? Or that concealed weapons were the cause?

    I don't think so.

    http://www.calccw.com/Forums/county-faq/7158-county-map-california-ccw-issuance.html
  7. 29 Aug '12 08:00
    Originally posted by FMF
    "Particularly confounding has been an acceleration in the drop since 2008; many observers thought a poorer country would be a less law-abiding one."
    But is the country poorer (I wasn't aware that the US was in recession) and are the 'criminal class' poorer?
    I believe unemployment is up, but is it up in the groups that are typically criminals?
    Also, criminal behaviour can usually be traced back many years from parents, to upbringing etc, so a change in the economy may have an effect many years later rather than immediately.

    *Today there is growing interest in the [b]role of video games and social-media technologies in providing young men, who are responsible for the lion’s share of violent crimes, with alternative ways to spend their time.[/b]
    I think this is probably a big one. Certainly here in SA, teenagers spend a lot of time in front of a computer and simply don't have the time to go out joining gangs and creating crime. But I live in an affluent neighbourhood. I suspect the effect is far lower in the poorer areas.
  8. 29 Aug '12 08:38
    " Immigration also matters, he says: studies have repeatedly shown that cities with large immigrant populations experience lower rates of violent crime"

    If a proportion of these immigrants are illegal/unregistered would they not be less likely to report as victims of crime, thus reducing the perceived crime rates in these areas?
  9. 29 Aug '12 10:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Article here: http://www.economist.com/node/21560870 Snippets below:

    "Crime in America has plummeted since its numerical peak in 1992; the violent sort by 38%, according to FBI statistics. [...] The truth is that no one predicted America’s great crime decline, and no one has a definitive explanation for it. Particularly confounding has been an acceleration in olice are being killed on duty.

    More theories please; or theories about the theories above.
    More theories please;-FMF



    Gun ownership up, crime down

    FBI violent-crime rates show safer nation with more gun owners



    Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.

    Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.

    “This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI’s violent-crime rates,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.”

    Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have “shall issue” laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.

    The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) serves as one of the best indicators of gun sales because it counts each time someone buys a gun. Checks hit an all-time high of 16.5 million last year. In the first five months of this year, the numbers have gone up 10 percent over the same period last year as Americans rush to the gun store in case President Obama decides to exercise “more flexibility” in restricting guns in a second term.




    If the gun grabbers were right, we’d be in the middle of a crime wave, considering how many guns are on the streets. Firearms sales have increased substantially since right after the 2008 election.


    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/18/gun-ownership-up-crime-down/
  10. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    29 Aug '12 10:18
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    Firearms sales have increased substantially since right after the 2008 election. [/b]
    Why do you think firearms sales increased substantially after the 2008 election?
  11. 29 Aug '12 10:28
    Originally posted by FMF
    Why do you think firearms sales increased substantially after the 2008 election?
    Thats a different topic entirely, is it not ?

    Your op is asking for debate of why violent crime has dropped in the US.
    The correlation with more and more law abiding citizens purchasing fire arms legally for self defense and the drop in violent crime is a valid one imo. agree of disagree ?
  12. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    29 Aug '12 12:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    Thats a different topic entirely, is it not ?
    No, not a different topic. Crime has dropped since 2008. Firearms sales have increased since 2008. It's not necessarily a linear causation/correlation thing. So, to examine it further, the question 'why do you think firearms sales increased substantially after the 2008 election?' is pertinent. [Cf: Crime peaked in 1992: Why do you think firearms sales did not increase substantially after the 1992 election?] These questions are not "a different topic entirely".
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Aug '12 12:26
    Originally posted by FMF
    Article here: http://www.economist.com/node/21560870 Snippets below:

    "Crime in America has plummeted since its numerical peak in 1992; the violent sort by 38%, according to FBI statistics. [...] The truth is that no one predicted America’s great crime decline, and no one has a definitive explanation for it. Particularly confounding has been an acceleration in ...[text shortened]... olice are being killed on duty.

    More theories please; or theories about the theories above.
    The most likely factor, IMO is stiffer sentences for offenders. You can't commit street crime from a cell.

    I also think there's some merit to the Freakonomics (abortion) theory.
  14. 29 Aug '12 12:53
    Originally posted by FMF
    . [...] The truth is that no one predicted America’s great crime decline, and no one has a definitive explanation for it. Particularly confounding has been an acceleration in the drop since 2008; many observers thought a poorer country would be a less law-abiding one."

    .
    It's the Obama utopia. Just take everyones money and there is less and less to fight over. It's pure genius.
  15. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    29 Aug '12 12:55
    Originally posted by whodey
    It's the Obama utopia. Just take everyones money and there is less and less to fight over. It's pure genius.
    Some serious thoughts on this topic would be more interesting, whodey.