October 26, 2005

Official Crime Levels Down but U.S. Adults Believe They're Up

Truck over to the latest (October 2005) Gallup Poll video and learn the news: official (violent and property) crime rates are down, according to the FBI, but there has been an increase in public perceptions that there is more crime today than there was a year ago, both in general and in their local communities. Oh, but the FBI data must be wrong, you say, so you go to the alternative nationally representative survey of the crime victimization experiences of Americans: The National Crime Victim Survey also shows overall dramatic drops in crime and a continuation of drops in 2003-2004: "Violent crime rates declined since 1994, reaching the lowest level ever recorded in 2004."

Let's see, citizen perceptions are that crime is up but crime is actually down. Things are out of whack--people should not be so concerned about crime. Should we bring back the old federal research on how we could best calm public concern about crime? In the current political climate it seems more likely that people will propose ways for the private sector to solve the problem...what will it be, security devices (e.g., car alarms), more weapons to arm ourselves now that gun manufacturers have had liability redefined?, calls for more private prisons? Others?

Posted by jackson at October 26, 2005 05:39 AM