Is crime on the increase?Is crime on the increase?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

And for yet another take on the topic, consider More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott.  His argument, backed by crime statistics for each county in the United States, shows that in counties which repealed gun laws, incidents of violent crime (aggravated assault, rape, murder) drop drastically; incidents of lesser crime (robbery, breaking and entering, etc.) dropped as well.  Not surprisingly, these exact crimes showed an increase in the adjoining counties that held gun laws in place (if you're a criminal, who and where are you going to attack, the woman who lives in an area where she legally cannot be armed, or the woman in an area where she might have a gun?)

The most extreme correlation held for an area that has the most repressive arms laws in the country, and also shares the dubious honor of the area with the most murders in the nation


........Washington, D.C.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a fairly vague question.  I think there is evidence in terms of statistics to indicate that in the United States' big cities, crime is on the increase.  Yet, it is challenging to determine whether or not crime is on the rise internationally because each nation uses different methods to collect data.  Due to this different technique of collecting data, there is a level of unreliability in this data.  If one accepts the premise that poor economic conditions cause an increase in crime, then one might deduce that the recent economic downturn in many nations of the world could account for an increase in crime because of the level of economic challenges endured by more people.  However, the nature of the question is more speculative than anything else.  It might generate some interesting discussion, but challenging in terms of developing valid research.

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a difficult question to answer, because crime can be broken down into categories. For example, there are violent crimes, misdemeanors, property crimes, hate crimes, etc. Then there is the question of population. So, if the population increases and crimes also increase, this may signal an increase of crimes, but not in terms of percentage. Also there might be an increase from the past year or two, but an overall decrease from 1980. So, you also need to define chronological parameters. To make a long story short, there are may variables to consider.

With that said, it does not appear that crimes are increasing in any noticeable way. According to the US census bureau, crime rates a pretty steady. I will include a link for you to examine. There are helpful charts in PDF files.  

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For a totally different take on this topic, I give a high recommend to Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. It addresses other topics besides crime, but the section on crime is probably one for which the book is best known. Their basic premise is that there has indeed been a drop in crime over the last 20 or so years that is not explainable by any of the usually cited factors (increased severity of punishment, increased police presence, etc.) They make quite a compelling argument that the decrease in crime is directly attributable to Roe v. Wade. Whether one agrees with that court decision or not, the book is very thought-provoking.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I must agree with previous posters about the vagueness of this question. While considering crimes there are multiple categories, but areas that might be considered are crimes that take place at the higher end of the socio/economic scale. Insider trading, stock fraud, embezzlement, and other things that seem to occur and seem to be perpetrated by or upon those with wealthier histories. Bernie Madoff and Martha Stewart are two people that immediately come to mind.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The economy is resulting in some increases in crime, but there also seems to be a shift from violent crimes to crimes of property. People are getting more desperate, and robbery and car theft are increasing. Identity theft is definitely on the rise. There are many scams preying on people who are desperate for work or trying to sell possessions to make money.
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You can take Chicago for example. Crime in the city of Chicago is on the increase, so much they there have been talks on bringing in the National Guard.

I think a factor to take into consideration is location. Is crime on the rise in rural areas as well? I think it really depends on location and type of crime we are talking about.