With the tough economic times and high unemployment rates, there is a fear of higher rates of violent crimes. It seems that just the opposite is happening. Murders and crimes in the United States are on the decline. Violent crimes reported by agencies in all of the United States have dropped over 6 percent. Murders have dropped over 7 percent. Rapes, robberies, and assaults have also had similar percentages. The exact reason why they are on downward trend cannot be explained. Police departments are worried that if the economy continues to decline, police officers will lose their jobs, causing these rates to spike.
When looking back at previous violent crime trends, it appears that rates increase and decrease every few years. The current trend has been heading downward for over 3 years. Tracking trends is thought to be a way to tell when it will peak and when it will go down. A current model, which has watched the trends for the past 50 years, shows that all types peaked in the 1990’s. Overall, 1992 was the worst year for violent crime.
Assault has the highest arrest rate. This category is commonly associated with fighting. Over 1 million assault incidents were reported in the 1990’s. Robbery peaked in the 1990’s to over 800,000 crimes. Now, the numbers have dropped substantially to less than have of that number. Murder is the same. It has almost dropped to half of the number that was reported in the 1990’s. Rape peaked in the 1990’s as well, with approximately 110,000 cases. Though the rate has dropped, it is not as significant robbery or murder. Property crimes show similar trends, but still continue to have a huge number. Though the trend shows a decrease, the number is significant.
It is important to consider what may have caused the rise in violent crime in the 1990’s. This could help them from peaking again in the future. Crime also dropped off rapidly after the 1990’s. It might be helpful to look at issues that may have had a factor is decreasing rates. Factors may include increased population or laws. It is hard to say without digging deeper. For now, they have been consistently on the decline for over 3 years, and seems to be continuing on a downward trend.