Crime Spike

Explainer

Why is crime on the rise in American cities?

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23 percent of U.S. adults have reported that they, or someone they live with, have been the victim of a crime in the last year, according to a Gallup poll. That number is up from a low of 20 percent in 2020.

Violent crime continues to spike in American cities, as the United States recorded its biggest jump in homicides since the 90s. Experts attribute the increase to a number of trends over the last year, including pandemic-related stress, heightened gun sales and wavering police credibility.

LONGWORTH: AMID CRIME SPIKE BIDEN MEETS WITH POLICE CHIEFS.

CRIME FORCES JERSEY SHORE TO CLOSE BEACH, BOARDWALK.

AT LEAST 108 SHOT OVER JULY 4TH WEEKEND.

IF YOU FOLLOW THE NEWS, IT FEELS LIKE ANY ONE OF US, AT ANY TIME, COULD BE A VICTIM OF CRIME.

BUT NOT JUST ANY CRIME–VIOLENT CRIME.

WE ALREADY SAW NEARLY A 25 PERCENT JUMP IN HOMICIDE RATES FROM 2019 TO 2020, ACCORDING TO THE MAJOR CITIES CHIEFS ASSOCIATION.

AND IN THE FIRST 3 MONTHS OF THIS YEAR, THE RATE IS ALREADY UP AGAIN.

THIS IS THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT SPIKE WE’RE SEEING SINCE

THE 90S, WHEN THE HOMICIDE RATE WAS EVEN HIGHER–40 PERCENT HIGHER.

SO WHY IS DEADLY CRIME MAKING SUCH A COMEBACK?

WELL, THAT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK.

EVERYTHING FROM COVID, TO GUN SALES, TO ANTI-POLICE PROTESTS ARE BEING BLAMED.

LET’S START WITH THE PANDEMIC, WHICH BROUGHT STRESS, AND STOLE JOB

UNEMPLOYMENT HIT A PEAK OF NEARLY 15%, ACCORDING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.

A 54 PERCENT SPIKE IN ALCOHOL SALES SHOWS PEOPLE TURNED TO SUBSTANCES TO COPE.

SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR ALEX PIQUERO SAYS, ALL THAT STRESS HAS CONSEQUENCES FOR HUMAN BEHAVIOR.

PIQUERO: THERE’S NO BOOK ON THE SHELF THAT SAYS, OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO DURING A PANDEMIC, BECAUSE YOU AND I NEVER LIVED THROUGH ONE OF THOSE, OR LOCKDOWNS LIKE THAT, AND SO NO ONE KNOW HOW TO HOW TO HOW TO REACT TO THAT.

LONGWORTH: AND YEAH, WE KNOW PEOPLE BOUGHT UP ALL THE TOILET PAPER.

BUT THEY WERE ALSO BUYING MORE GUNS.

SALES HIT THEIR PEAK IN 2020, ACCORDING TO SMALL ARMS ANALYTICS.

DEMOCRATS ARE QUICK TO POINT OUT  THAT TTOO MANY GUNS ON THE STREET IS ONE OF THE REASONS FOR MORE VIOLENT CRIME.

BUT EXPERTS LIKE CRIMINOLOGY PROFESSOR JUSTIN NIX SAYS THERE’S MORE TO THE STORY.

NIX: THE UPTICK IN VIOLENCE SEEMS TO BE A UNIQUELY AMERICAN THING. SO, YOU KNOW, WE ARGUE IT’S MORE LIKELY THE RESULT OF THE LEGITIMACY CRISIS.

LONGWORTH: WHEN HE SAYS LEGITIMACY CRISIS, HE’S REFERRING TO ONE FOR POLICE–ESPECIALLY  IN THE WAKE OF GEORGE FLOYD’S DEATH.

IT MOTIVATED PROTESTERS TO CALL FOR DEFUNDING THE POLICE–AND QUESTION AN OFFICER’S ROLE IN SOCIETY.

THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PEOPLE THEY PROTECT HAS DETERIORATED, NIX SAYS, WHICH MEANS POLICE

NIX: BECOME LESS LIKELY TO MAKE STOPS, TO MAKE ARRESTS TO PROACTIVELY ENGAGE WITH, YOU KNOW, SUSPICIOUS PERSONS.

LONGWORTH: ESSENTIALLY, HE SAYS POLICE ARE WEARY.

AND APPARENTLY SO IS THE COMMUNITY:

THEN THERE’S THE NUMBER OF COPS ON THE STREET.

A 2018 PRINCETON STUDY ESTIMATES THAT EACH ADDITIONAL SWORN OFFICER IS ASSOCIATED WITH 4.27 FEWER VIOLENT CRIMES.

MEANING, WITH MORE OFFICERS, THERE’S LESS CRIME, AND WITH FEWER OFFICERS, THERE’S MORE CRIME.

RIGHT NOW, THAT’S THE CASE, WHICH IS HOW THE BAD GUYS LIKE IT.

NIX: THEY FEEL EMBOLDENED. THEY FEEL LIKE IT’S LESS RISKY TO CARRY GUNS IN PUBLIC OR TO USE THEIR GUNS TO COMMIT CRIMES.

LONGWORTH: WITH THAT BEING SAID, THE QUESTION BECOMES, WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

LIBERALS SAY POLICE REFORM AND GUN CONTROL.

THAT’S WHY PRESIDENT BIDEN AND CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS ARE PUSHING FOR A POLICE REFORM BILL.

MEANWHILE, CONSERVATIVES SAY DEMOCRATS ARE JUST SOFT ON CRIME.

TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT IS ONE OF THE LATEST TO CALL FOR BAIL REFORM.

QUOTE THAT WILL KEEP DANGEROUS CRIMINALS OFF THE STREETS.

TEXAS LAWMAKERS ARE CONSIDERING IT.

SOME EXPERTS, LIKE PIQUERO, SAY THERE ARE ALSO LESS POLARIZING OPTIONS ALREADY BEING USED IN SOME CITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY.

LIKE ADDING STREET LIGHTS TO DARK NEIGHBORHOODS, MORE VIDEO SURVEILLANCE, AND EVEN VIOLENCE INTERRUPTER PROGRAMS.

PIQUERO: BASICALLY INVOLVES EITHER USING EX FELONS OR EX OFFENDERS AND THEY ACTUALLY GO ON THE STREETS TO WORK WITH AT-RISK KIDS OR KNOWN CRIMINALS AND KIND OF SAY, ‘HEY, KID, YOU KNOW, I WAS YOU DON’T, DON’T TURN OUT LIKE ME.

IN CHICAGO, THE GROUP VIOLENCE INTERRUPTERS SAYS THEY MEDIATED 65 HIGH-RISK CONFLICTS INVOLVING GANG VIOLENCE IN 2020.

NO MATTER THE APPROACH–ONE POINT EVERYONE CAN SEEM TO AGREE ON IS THAT SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE ANSWER? INCREASE POLICE PRESENCE, SPEND MONEY ON MENTAL HEALTH HELP OR IS IT TIME TO RESTRICT GUNS? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: neutral
Benespinoza2004August 3, 2021, 2:55am CT

Refund the police

Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: conservative
ElideguyAugust 2, 2021, 4:41pm CT

Need to be tougher on repeat offenders and this whole "defund the police" nonsense needs to go away!

Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: neutral
Benespinoza2004August 3, 2021, 2:55am CT

Refund the police

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Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: conservative
ElideguyAugust 2, 2021, 4:41pm CT

Need to be tougher on repeat offenders and this whole "defund the police" nonsense needs to go away!

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23 percent of U.S. adults have reported that they, or someone they live with, have been the victim of a crime in the last year, according to a Gallup poll. That number is up from a low of 20 percent in 2020.

Violent crime continues to spike in American cities, as the United States recorded its biggest jump in homicides since the 90s. Experts attribute the increase to a number of trends over the last year, including pandemic-related stress, heightened gun sales and wavering police credibility.

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Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: neutral
Benespinoza2004August 3, 2021, 2:55am CT

Refund the police

Straight Arrow Bias Meter™ rating: conservative
ElideguyAugust 2, 2021, 4:41pm CT

Need to be tougher on repeat offenders and this whole "defund the police" nonsense needs to go away!