If there’s one thing we know about crime rates in the United States, it’s that the information that people assume to be true is rarely, if ever accurate. How do we know that? Because ask around and people will probably tell you that crime is on the rise around the country. After all, they see so much of it online and in the news – heartbreaking statistics shared on Facebook and sensationalized stories spread on clickbait websites. But is it the truth?
Pew Research sheds some light on crime statistics in the U.S.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that gathers and analyses data to keep people all over the world up to date on changing trends and statistics affecting the world today. With regards to crime data, they have gathered information from law enforcement agencies around the country to get a clearer picture of what America’s current criminal trends are, and the picture is far less bleak than social media would have you believe.
Violent crime is down across the entire country:
Over the last 25 years, violent crime in the United States has seen a significant decrease. Data collected from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and from the FBI (who in turns collects data from thousands of law enforcement agencies all over the country) show that since a peak in the early 1990s, violent crime has been decreasing since. In fact, FBI stats show the violent crime rate down by 49%, while the BJS stats show the decrease as high as 79%. And while there were a few spikes here and there along that timeline, on the whole the tend has been towards much lower levels of violent crime.
Be alert as to where the stats come from…
It’s important to understand that it’s easy to play with the numbers. Experts on statistics twist them and reinterpret them all the time. For instance, it is important for us to know whether the definition of “violent crime” has changed. You would also want to know whether we’re discussing only crimes that have been reported, or whether it includes crimes that occurred but weren’t reported. Were accusations included as crimes even if there was no criminal conviction? Our point is simply that you have to be leary of just looking at statistics that somebody throws out there unless we have answers to lots of questions.
Where you live makes a difference to crime rates:
This one may seem obvious, but where you live will affect the data for crime rates in your area. As you can expect, big cities see much higher crime rates than rural communities, but some states have much lower crime rates than others, depending on population density and a number of other factors. For example, Alaska, New Mexico and Tennessee currently average a little more than 600 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, while Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont have fewer than 200 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
Some cities have a bad rap that isn’t justified:
Chicago, IL has received a lot of attention in recent years for what appears to be a rising rate of murder. But in truth the murder rate in Chicago is still less than half of the murder rate in St. Louis, MO, and Baltimore, MD. Similarly, Detroit has a terrible reputation around the country, as a city full to bursting with violent criminals. But the reality is that Detroit has seen a slow decrease in violent crime in recent years, which is encouraging. (Lansing also has a violent crime rate that is significantly higher than the national average, but unfortunately shows no signs of decrease in recent years.)
Everyone deserves the chance to be well defended.
Another fact that many people don’t realize when it comes to criminal charges in Michigan and in fac, all over the U.S. is the fact that our justice system allows everyone the opportunity to be properly defended. Everyone. Regardless of what they’re accused of, or how heinous the accusation. Here at The Kronzek Firm PLC, we believe passionately that everyone deserves the best defense available to them, and that’s what we offer to each and every client. So if you need a top-notch defense provided by tenacious and hard working attorneys with decades of experience, call 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). We have decades of experience fighting for our clients all over MIchigan. We can help you too.