68 Percent Say Crime is Increasing in the US

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Overview

This article provides an overview of two recent documents from Gallup, one dealing with national and local perceptions of crime (is crime increasing?) and a second focusing on fear of walking alone at night.

There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats– 66% of each say there is more crime nationally.

Concern that crime nationally is increasing decreased slightly but remains very high,

Author 

Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr.

Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Post-Masters’ Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University.

National Concern About Crime

Per Gallup, 68 percent of Americans believe that crime is increasing in the United States, essentially unchanged from 70% last year.

The highest reading of 89% came in 1992.

Among the groups most likely to say U.S. crime increased since last year are women (76%), nonwhites (75%) and those with household incomes under $30,000 (77%).

While perceptions have varied by political partisanship throughout the years, there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats– 66% of each say there is more crime nationally.

Local Concern About Crime

38% of Americans say there is less crime in their local area; 40% say more.

Those saying more is a decrease from last years 45 percent. It was 54 percent in the early 1980’s.

Women (including a majority of those younger than 50, at 52%) are most likely to say there is more crime this year in their local area. This compares with 33% of men in the same age group.

Those with an annual household income of less than $30,000 are significantly more likely than those making $75,000 or more to report an increase in crime in their area (49% vs. 35%).

Walking Near Your Home

Three in 10 Americans are afraid to walk alone at night in an area within a mile of where they live. This ties the lowest level of concern since Gallup first asked this question in 1965 and is substantially below the high point of 48% recorded in 1982.

Crime Policy

National: When one takes a look at Gallup data and research from other sources, it seems clear that the vast majority of Americans (68 percent) are concerned about crime nationally (crime increasing) with rates generally climbing since 2000 and peaking in 2009.

Local: 40 percent of Americans state that crime increased in their local areas (a decrease from 52 percent in the early 2000’s). More Americans felt that local crime increased than decreased (by two points).

Thus concern that crime nationally is increasing decreased slightly but remains very high, but concern about local crime decreased; fear of walking alone also decreased to a record low.

With 68 percent of Americans suggesting that crime increased nationally, and with more saying it increased locally than decreased, it’s easy to understand crime policies in the United States that lean towards offender accountability. High concern nationally presents a challenge for criminal justice reform.

In today’s polarized society and strong differences between political parties regarding other polls, it’s somewhat astounding that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats– 66% of each say there is more crime nationally.

Americans have always viewed crime nationally as higher when compared to their local communities.

Source

Gallup-Crime Increasing

Gallup-Walking Near Home

For an overview of crime in the United States, see Crime in America.

Contact

Contact us at crimeinamerica@gmail.com.

Media on deadline, contact leonardsipes@gmail.com.


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