An American Crime
American singer/songwriter and political activist Ted Nugent said, “Where you have the most armed citizens in America, you have the lowest violent crime rate. Where you have the worst gun control, you have the highest crime rate.” There is crime happening all over America, whether it may be a small or a larger crime. But what is the true meaning of crime? Crime is the illegal act that someone commits and is punished by the government. There is also a difference between a crime and a crime rate. A crime rate is based on the number of crimes per 100,000 population. Many people in society find that crime in urban areas is more frequent than it is in the suburbs or in rural areas; which could be true. There are different categories and classifications for each crime and the criminals doing the crime. As years go on, crime could be hard to fight in urban areas because it is uncontrollable. Criminal activity is a chain effect; once it happens, it continues to happen prevalently
Over the past decade, crime rates and crime have been a huge problem in the United States. Violent crime has been around for as long as people can remember. Violent crimes would be considered murder, manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, etc. There was a great increase in violent crimes between 1985 and 1990, right around the time Reagan was elected president. During this time, crime rates and crime played ‘hand and hand to show that there was an incline in crime and incarceration. The U.S. breaks the charts in murder rates and other crimes than other affluent countries. Christopher Jencks, a writer for The American Post, writes murder rates are far higher in the United States than in Europe, Japan, or even Canada.” Jencks states that the United States also has more rapes, robberies, and assaults than other rich countries. All of these crimes are considered violent crimes. Looking at other countries compared to the United States, it gives people in society reasons why our crime is increasing and why this continues to skyrocket throughout the years. What makes other serious crimes like homicide or murder nonreportable?
Along with violent crimes, property crimes are also committed very frequently in the U.S. Joe Gorman, author for The Vindicator, shares statistics from a local town whose property crimes were reported.” The local numbers for property crimes – which the FBI classifies as burglaries, motor vehicle thefts, vandalism, and shoplifting – decreased slightly for local police departments. Nationally, the FBI said property crimes decreased 3 percent in 2017 from 2016.”
According to US Legal, Burglaries/total population is the standard “crime rate” reported by the FBI and used by social scientists. These may be small crimes, but they are reported more often because these are personal items owned by homeowners or business owners. Property crimes happen to individuals during the night hours. Sam Thompson, Global News writer, interviewed police officers regarding a property crime incident. “The main thing is, we’ve had an increase in some minor property crimes, vandalism at night, theft from vehicles, theft from sheds, bicycle theft from yards, stuff like that,” he said. Smaller cities are known to have more property crimes than violent crimes. Thompson quotes a staff sergeant of Brandon Township saying, “Brandon’s a smaller city, around 50,000 people, so we have a little bit of that small-town attitude in some areas.” Officers in small suburban or rural areas aren’t patrolling streets that much because they feel that nothing would be expected to happen in their town. All crime should be reported regardless of how much damage is done; this only helps the community better.
Crime rates and crime differ in some regions of the country. Every city and town do not commit the same crime or have similar crime rates. Different regions of the country will have a higher crime rate or even high crime in that area than an another. Most urban cities have more crime and crime rates. Popular urban cities are bound to be talked about for crime rate, low employment, and impoverished areas. Violent crimes and property crimes are both happening a lot in those communities who need help the most. According to Statista, St.Louis had the highest violent crime in 2017. 2,082 crimes per 100,000 residents were recorded, and Detroit is running a close race with 2,057 crimes per 100,000. The statistics given are four violent crime categories: murder and non-negligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; and aggravated assault. The major urban cities that are known for their ‘crime,’ there isn’t much business coming in and out because no one wants to be around a crime infested area. No business results in low employment rates and when people in that area have no job; they find their self-doing criminal activity. A chain effect continues.
There are at least a couple states in each of the five regions which have high crime and crime rates in the U.S.In 2017, Lousiana had the highest murders in the country with a manslaughter rate of 12.4 which is twice the national average. Smaller states like Vermont or New Hampshire have murder rates of 1. A tremendous amount of cities in the U.S have reported an increase in crime in their cities. New York Times writers Monica Davey and Mitch Smith state that “ In New Orleans, 120 people had been killed by late August, compared with 98 during the same period a year earlier. In Baltimore, homicides had hit 215, up from 138 at the same point in 2014. In Washington, the toll was 105, compared with 73 people a year ago. And in St. Louis, 136 people had been killed this year, a 60 percent rise from the 85 murders the city had by the same time last year.” Crime has changed over the years. Some of the crimes happening today are senseless crimes or crimes that have occurred on accident.
In the world today, society links everything together to receive satisfaction regardless if it is negative or positive. There will always be a crime in the world, but there are ways to help to reduce the amount of crime happening and to reduce the crime rate. Communities are in fearful trouble because crime gradually gets worse each day and they just want things to go back to normal.
Crime and crime rate comes with many questions and analysis that leave members of society puzzled. If there is a failure to reporting the crime, will crime get worst? Is social media and technology helping create more crime? Can police help reduce the amount of crime?
Failure to report crimes will lead to more crime. Society is fearful for what is going to happen next if they tell the police or people in the neighborhood. People in each community knows what is going on in the area, but they are nervous that they will be the next victim. People in urban areas will be called names like a ‘snitch’ if they told the police what they saw or heard. People in the community who are aware of the crime is only making their community better. When a crime isn’t reported, this will continue to grow in areas and will continue to get worst yearly. Most crime goes unreported in some urban areas. People in the community feel that not reporting the crime rate will help the situation when in reality, everything is getting worse. More crimes will continue to happen if they aren’t reported to the police because the community will be afraid that they will be the next victims of the future crime committed. Reported crimes are what makes statistics go down each year.
Steven Donziger writes, “The National Crime Victimization Survey, begun in 1973, is administered by the US Census Bureau. Approximately 40,000 households to determine how many people were victimized by one of seven crimes in the past year. The crimes recorded are rape, robbery, assault, personal theft, household theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.” Victims of crime will continue to feel that they are victims. According to John Gramlich, a researcher for Pew Research Center finds “In 2016, only 42% of the violent crime tracked by BJS was reported; And in the much more common category of property crime, only about a third (36%) were reported.” Society feels that nothing will happen if they report a crime. The more crime is reported, people in communities can feel safe knowing that a person has been found.
Everyone in the world uses social media, whether it is used to keep in touch with family, being updated with daily news or worldly events, or to show photos dealing with personal life. Children of today use social media and technology more than adults do. The media creates more crime daily; police brutality, discrimination, self-defense, etc. Brittni Brown, writer for International Policy Digest, states “In listening to and reading all of these reports about police and crime in the media, it is not hard to conclude that crime is on the rise everywhere and that the United States is no longer a safe place and allowing children to play in the front yard is risky.” Everything that deals with a crime is being plastered in the media to make a situation bigger. Media can be useful to keep people update, and it can also be harmful because jumping to conclusions can create a war that effects everyone.
Technology is Connected to an increase in crime. Both this paragraph and the previous are connected to one another. If a child in an urban community is inside on their phones or playing games systems, they are less likely to be influenced by their neighborhoods friends. If a child in an urban community is inside on their phones or playing games systems, they are less likely to be affected by their neighborhoods friends, but these video games are very violent. These video games are introducing guns, drugs, robbery, gang affiliation at a young age. Michael Casey, a journalist for CBS News, writes “Over 90 percent of children play video games, with 85 percent of those games containing some violence.” Violent games result in violent behavior. We see mass shooting happening frequently; these shootings are always in the media which allows individuals to do the exact same thing. Casey finds that “Adam Lanza gunned down 20 children and six teachers Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. It later turned out that he was obsessed with violent video games.” Young people pick this trait up from the games they are playing. Videos games that are violent are giving youth a lousy outlook for their lives and others around them.
Crime prevention is something police officers do as a part of their job along with enforcing the law. Reporting crime will reduce the attractiveness of crime. The government and the police work together to try to reduce crime and how crime rates could drop. The criminal justice system is finding theories that could help urban communities reduce the amount of crime happening in those areas. Police and the government see that crime will increase each and every day so what can they do to fix everything. If police are brought on the street to help communities, less crime will happen. Lind and Lopez, writers for Vox.com, write, “while the number of police can affect crime rates, crime rates also affect the number of police. When crime rises, cities hire more police in response.” Lind and Lopez also state that “Research on specific areas, as well as the US as a whole, found that hiring more police helped decrease crime.” Crime, in general, was worst decades ago then what it is now and those models didn’t affect anyway in society. Crime, drugs, and gangs were more so a problem in the ’80s, and 90’s then in the 00’s and present day.
Cleary, crime in the United States will always continue to be around. It’s never-ending, or people can’t even wrap their head around the amount of crime happening. Many feel that crime is decreasing throughout the years. It’s not so much fair to think that there can be an increase and a decrease in crime. There are many outcomes to how crime is decreasing in the world. Incarceration is a reason why there is a decrease in crime. The community plays a role as well when talking about crime. Nevertheless, corruption will continue to be in the world.
John Gramlich, a researcher, found that “In 2016, there were more than 600 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in Alaska, Nevada, New Mexico, and Tennessee. By contrast, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont had rates below 200 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.” Crimes are dropping because criminals that committed violent crimes are incarcerated. Because they are locked up, the perpetrators aren’t going to commit the murder or severe crime. When previous crime commiters are locked up, the crime rates will go down. In the online article from Vox.com, “The Brennan Center report estimates that incarceration played even less of a role than that: up to 12 percent of the drop in property crime during the 1990s was due to the rise in incarceration, but it was probably more like 6 percent. And it contributed to 1 percent, at most, of the continued property crime decline in the 2000s.” People who are incarcerated begins to age out of the crime they commit. While being locked up they find that they don’t want to do what brought them to jail, Christoper Jencks writes, “Murders are more likely to be reported to the police because they are easier to detect what happened. Not only is murder better recorded than other crimes, but there is less reason to think that the police have changed the way in which they record murders.” Incarcerating people who have done violent crimes allows a decline in crime.
More people in society think that a violent city will have more violent and property crimes. Researchers found that “higher poverty levels are associated with higher crime levels.” When thinking about poverty, instantly it is found upon that more killings and robberies are taking place at each second. It was found that this was only true for property crimes and not violent crimes. Now logically thinking, it would make sense that violent crime is happening because certain gangs have feuds between them, or even accidentally killings are always happening in neighborhoods in poverty. In an article written by Tom Jacobs, it states, “ Social disorganization theory argues that certain neighborhood characteristics—a low-income, transient population composed of people from different ethnic groups—”would lead to higher levels of crime, as this would weaken the structural bonds within a community.” Neighborhoods are big reasons on why certain crimes frequently happen than they should in areas. Many feel that crime will be reduced if criminals are starting to get convicted for their crimes and if the neighborhoods are starting to become more positive and have a better outlook on the community as a whole. If more neighborhoods have programs or events that can bring a community together than diminish them and allow them to create more violence. A real neighborhood could reduce crime and property crime will start to decrease instead of increasing steadily.
Along with the fact that urban communities are diminishing people, the police force is also adding to crime rates in America. Cops are killing African-Americans due to police brutality in the world. These are reported crimes because either victims or witnesses see this cruel activity and take it to social media or at least tell someone about what they saw. Now that police brutality is becoming popular in the past couple of years; police try to stay away from black neighborhoods to try to reduce conflict. Blacks tend to stay away from the police now because they see what happens to other people who are just like them. Since cops stay away from black neighborhoods, they have no control over people in that community.
They are staying away which means people in urban communities think that they can get away with anything because no one is reprimanding them. When people see police brutality happening in social media, this encourages them to do criminal activity. Michael Barone, a writer for National Review, states “Black Americans were the primary victims of the huge crime increase starting in the late 1960s, and they will be the primary victims again if the Ferguson effect continues to result in more homicides.”Police officers break down people in the community which allows them to feel less than what they are. Resulting in the fact that police brutality is affected mental health, this also attracts people to do criminal behavior because they aren’t in the right state of mind. Police brutality is creating crime to increase. People in society demand more police to come in and help, but what is that going to do? Many theories have been tried to help bring police and people together. They have even decided to bring back specific models to maybe help reduce crime as a whole. This effect only created more people to go against this, and it failed. We think that police are supposed to help when in today’s world they are defeating the purpose. If police brutality weren’t as bad as it is, there wouldn’t be skyrocketing crimes happening.
There is no way to get around the fact that crime is going to go away completely. Whether it may be a small or severe crime, it still classifies as a crime in the United States. People do senseless crimes that result with them getting arrested and added to the statistics. The only way to bring down the crime rate is to report crimes, cooperate with police, and penalize criminals. The crime rate might rise temporarily as more crimes are reported, but they’ll fall again when the threat of swift justice deters criminals.
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Thompson, Sam. “Brandon Police Encourage Residents to ‘Lock It up’ as Property Crime Climbs.” Global News, Global News, 19 Nov. 2018, globalnews.ca/news/4676675/brandon-police-encourage-residents-to-lock-it-up-as-property-crime-climbs/.
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