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Monday, June 12

Violent crime rate is up

Violent crime (murders, robberies, aggravated assaults) is up in America for the first time in five years reports the Washington Post. It's not a huge increase but it's the largest percentage increase since 1991. (Detroit, Los Angeles and New York were among several large cities that saw the number of murders drop.) The biggest spikes were in these cities:
Murders jumped from 272 to 334 in Houston, a 23 percent spike; from 330 to 377 in Philadelphia, a 14 percent rise; and from 131 to 144 in Las Vegas, a 10 percent increase.
What's going on ?

"We see that budgets for policing are being slashed and the federal government has gotten out of that business," said James Alan Fox, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University in Boston. "Funding for prevention at the federal level and many localities are down and the (National Rifle Association) has renewed strength."

Violent crimes peaked at 1.9 million in 1992 and fell steadily through the end of that decade. The number has been relatively stable for the past six years.

Crime last year increased in all regions, although the 5.7 percent rise in the Midwest was at least three times any other region's. These states make up the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, here on Long Island, local educators are wary of the Violence Report Card which is due out today. It's said to be the most accurate ever. I'm curious too, but I don't think I'll be shocked as to which districts have the most crime (the poor ones). There also seems to be a discrepancy as to what some school administrators consider a 'crime of violence':

The state's reporting system lists more than 20 types of offenses, ranging from homicides, assaults and robberies to minor altercations, vandalism and false alarms. School consultants on the Island say it's difficult to get uniform reports, because some administrators report even hallway jostlings, while others ignore such incidents.

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