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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/20/2001 8:25:25 PM EST
[url]http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/21/politics/21CLIN.html[/url] Killings Increase in Many Big Cities December 21, 2001 Killings Increase in Many Big Cities By FOX BUTTERFIELD Homicides have increased sharply this year in many large cities, a development that troubles law enforcement officials and experts who fear it may signal a return to rising crime rates after a large decline in the 1990's. The rise in homicides was led by Boston and Phoenix, which had increases of more than 60 percent through Dec. 18, compared with the same period last year, according to police figures in a survey of 18 major cities. Homicides jumped 22 percent in St. Louis, 17.5 percent in Houston, 15 percent in San Antonio, 11.6 percent in Atlanta, 9.2 percent in Los Angeles and 5.2 percent in Chicago, the police departments in those cities said. However, even the sharp increases this year leave the big cities far below the peak in homicide in 1991. The rise in Chicago, which has had 644 homicides this year, compared with 612 in the same period last year, means that it will probably pass New York for the first time as the city with the most homicides, though Chicago has 2.9 million people and New York has 8 million. New York is an exception to the big cities with rising homicides, with 617 through Dec. 16, compared with 651 in the same period last year - a drop of 5.2 percent. Several other cities also had small decreases, including Washington, with a decline of 6 percent. But in most cities with fewer homicides, the decrease was so slight that experts said it was not statistically significant. Homicide has long been considered the bellwether crime, the one that most worries the public and therefore the one that police chiefs watch most carefully. A jump in homicides in the big cities led the crime wave of the late 1980's, and a homicide decrease in the big cities started an eight-year decline in overall crime beginning in 1992. Charles H. Ramsey, Washington's police chief, pointed to two possible explanations for the increases this year: the downturn in the economy and an increase in family killings after years of declines driven by greater attention to domestic violence. The economy is the best indicator of whether crime will continue to increase, Chief Ramsey said. "More pink slips mean more crimes," he said. "It doesn't take long before you start seeing that impact at street level." Chief Ramsey said he was especially concerned about the impact that a prolonged recession would have on poorer neighborhoods and low-income workers. "It reaches everyone; it just reaches them first," he said. "If this becomes long term, believe me, you will see the difference." Another factor in the increase in homicides, police officials said, is the rising number of prison inmates being released, the flip side of the prison building boom of the last two decades. The number of inmates released from state and federal prisons is projected to reach 635,000 this year, up from 474,300 in 1995, Alan Beck of the Bureau of Justice Statistics said.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:28:12 PM EST
In Washington, Chief Ramsey said the 6 percent drop in homicides for the year would have been larger if not for the Sept. 11 attacks. "We were doing much better than that before Sept. 11," he said, "but we've had a spike since then and we're trying to figure out if that's related." "I don't know if anxiety has anything to do with it or whether there's the impression out there that the police are busy doing other things," he said. But Washington has had a marked increase in domestic killings and others traceable to "plain old arguments." "That motive category is always significant, but it seems like, from Sept. 11 on, the majority seems to be that," Chief Ramsey said. "I don't know if people have shorter fuses or what; it's just too early to tell." In one city, San Diego, the events of Sept. 11 may have led to a sharp drop in homicides. Before the terrorist attacks, the police were projecting that San Diego would have 70 homicides this year, a 40 percent increase from the 50 homicides the city had in 2000. But since Sept. 11, there have been only 5 killings, and San Diego is now likely to have no increase for the year, Lt. Jim Duncan of the homicide division said. Because San Diego is a military town, with large Navy and Marine bases, Lieutenant Duncan said, people have been focused on the war and their family members overseas, and this has helped reduce crime. Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:34:29 PM EST
This is interesting, I was just reading a piece in the Arizona Republic that said the exact opposite of this. That after stalling in 2000 the rate of violent crimes fell in the first half of 01 again.
Link Posted: 12/20/2001 8:38:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/20/2001 8:30:45 PM EST by ArmdLbrl]
Here we go, same data different spin...
Slight drop seen in violent crime Experts say overall rates leveling off Los Angeles Times Dec. 18, 2001 WASHINGTON - Violent crime in the United States resumed its gradual decrease in the first half of the year despite slightly more murders and robberies, the FBI reported Monday. The drop in major crimes nationally was calculated at 1.3 percent compared with the same period last year, as reported by local and state law-enforcement agencies. Many of the nation's largest cities reported lower overall rates. The decline in the nation's major crime rate represented the resumption of a long-running decrease. Last year, the FBI said serious crimes had leveled off after a steep eight-year drop. Lower crime rates generally have been attributed to improved police tactics, more officers walking neighborhood beats and the demise of the crack cocaine markets that helped send crime rates soaring in the late 1980s. The vibrant economy also contributed to the steady decline in violent crime in the 1990s, authorities said, especially the historically low unemployment rate. But last year, crime fell only marginally, and many criminologists forecast that rates would begin to rise again this year. By region, crime totals fell 4 percent in the Northeast and nearly 2 percent in the Midwest, but rose 1.6 percent in the West and 0.8 percent in the South. There was no state-by-state breakdown. James A. Fox, a criminal-justice professor at Northeastern University in Boston, said the latest figures signal that "we shouldn't count on crime dropping much more." "Crime levels are flat," he said. "The great 1990s crime drop is over." Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at the Carnegie Mellon Institute, agreed that the decline in violent crimes should not be cause for elation because "the figures are basically flat." "What the story will be in the second half of 2001 is uncertain," Blumstein added. "A lot of factors are changing post-September 11. There is likely a diversion of police efforts away from street crime to the threat of terrorism, and our economic slump could lead to more crime as we experience a reduction in services for those in the lower socioeconomic groups." Walter J. Dickey, a law professor and crime expert at the University of Wisconsin, said few Americans will be heartened by the marginal decrease in crime rates. "People have sense of when they're safe or unsafe in their neighborhoods, and crime statistics have little to do with it," Dickey said. "For someone who shops at a nearby mall, a 10 percent drop in muggings from 30 to 27 doesn't make them feel safer. In fact, it's irrelevant."
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Link Posted: 12/20/2001 10:40:25 PM EST
It's called the thinning of the herds. Been going on since the beginning of time..... its just more visable now with the media in your face on a daily basis these days. It's ok the planet is not in peril....
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 7:21:43 AM EST
I prefer to call it "Darwinian evolution in action".
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 9:00:00 AM EST
Chlorine in the gene pool.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 9:18:56 AM EST
Um, shouldn't NYC include the nearly 3,000 murdered on 9/11 to their tally? It WAS murder afterall. And not one gun used.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 9:43:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By gus: Um, shouldn't NYC include the nearly 3,000 murdered on 9/11 to their tally? It WAS murder afterall. And not one gun used.
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Good Point! It never occurred to me.
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