Perceptions Of Crime And Reality Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Energy Type: Essay Paper: #35036969 Related Topics: Crime, Crimes, Fbi, Statistics
Excerpt from Essay :

Crime

There is a big difference between perception of crime and actual crime statistics, a gulf that has become quite clear in recent years. The statistics show that crime of all types is decreasing, but it is still widely reported that the public has a perception that crime is increasing. There are a number of factors for this, but the reality is that crime is decreasing in the United States.

Crime Statistics

The FBI tracks hard numbers with respect to crime in the U.S. Violent crime in the U.S. has been trending down for a long time, and the statistics bear this out:

FBI (2015)

The decrease in property crime has been even more dramatic:

FBI (2015)

Perceptions of crime, however, can be influenced by the type of crime, with more severe crimes standing out more in people's minds. That said, murder rates have been steadily decreasing for several years, as have rapes. The rate of aggravated assault increased in 2014, but is much lower today than it was in 2005 (FBI, 2015). The statistics show clearly that crime in the U.S. is decreasing.

Perceptions

...

Media reporting of crime is one -- crime is a compelling headline story, violent crime in particular. Reporting of such crimes, on an near-daily basis in most U.S. cities, results in the perception that crime is on the rise. The reality is that crime has always been there, and it still is, in a large enough city, but that daily instances of crime just mean that there is a lot of crime, not that there is more crime. Perceptions can be skewed as well by surveying people in areas where crime rates actually are increasing, or after major crimes when people's level of fear is higher. America's population is aging, too, and people do tend to fear more crime as they get older, as they feel less equipped to deal with it.

Influences on Crime

There are a number of factors that influence aggregate crime rates. Law enforcement factors usually matter, as law enforcement's work is a key input into crime statistics (i.e., you could lower 'drug crime' dramatically simply by having police stop charging for marijuana possession). Much crime is committed by repeat criminals -- locking them up longer gives them less opportunity to commit subsequent crimes.…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

FBI (2015). About crime in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved November 16, 2015 from https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014


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