56 Percent Say Reducing Crime Is A Top Priority

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56 percent of Americans believe that crime needs to be reduced.

68 percent of Americans believe that crime is increasing.


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.


I read from many sources that crime is not a top priority for Americans. Then I turn on the television and I’m bombarded with either local news programs where seventy percent of the stories are crime related or national crime shows featuring violent victimizations.

Crime and criminal justice stories are offered because the public wants them; they need local news or national stories to gauge their personal risk or to put their safety into perspective.


The data from Pew (below) place reducing crime in the middle of American concerns with 56 percent believing that the issue needs to be addressed. But it ranks higher than race relations, drug addiction, the budget deficit, immigration or the military. It’s not far off the mark for poverty or jobs or the environment.

If related topics were included like terrorism and drug addiction, it would be much higher in the American psyche; possibly the top concern.

Another chart from Pew (also below) indicates that more people are concerned about crime starting from a recent low of 44 percent (2011) to today’s 56 percent. The data reached a high of 78 percent in 1994.


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

There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats– 66% of each say there is more crime nationally, which is astounding given the dramatic difference between the political parties as to other national surveys, Crime in America

Policy Considerations

There are endless criminological and advocacy organizations promoting “smart” initiatives that fundamentally change the way we deal with offenders, but most gain little traction.

As long as Americans are this concerned with reducing crime or believe that crime is increasing, progressive change will be an uphill battle.


National Priorities




Contact us at crimeinamerica@gmail.com.

Media on deadline, contact leonardsipes@gmail.com.

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