• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Crime and Recession: More Clues

    Violent crime fell in America last year, the first full year of the recession, according to new data from the FBI. Auto theft and other property crime also was down despite the recession, although burglary was up.

    In general, the social science literature has indicated a correlation between unemployment rates and property crime rates. Violent crimes, though, appear to be unaffected by joblessness rates. Although there appears to be an association between property crime and unemployment, the fact remains that the decision to commit a crime is a choice.

    For most of us, the loss of a job will not provoke us to steal from our neighbors.

    In a previous post, I noted the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ new National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) showed crime declined in 2008. The FBI data are based upon crimes officially reported to police departments across the nation; the NCVS data are based on a nationally representative survey. One key distinction is that the NCVS includes crimes that were not reported.

    Some details of the FBI data on violent crime:

    • The overall rate dropped from 466.9 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2007 to 454.5 incidents in 2008—a decrease of 2.7 percent.
    • Murder fell from 5.6 incidents per 100,000 to 5.4 incidents—a decrease of 3.6 percent.
    • Rape dropped from 30 incidents per 100,000 to 29.3—a decrease of 2.3 percent.
    • Robbery was down from 147.6 incidents per 100,000 to 145.3 —a decrease of 1.6 percent.
    • Aggravated assault dropped from 283.8 incidents to 274.6 incidents—a decrease of 3.2 percent.

    The FBI data show a less consistent trend for property crime:

    • The overall rate dropped from 3,263.5 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2007 to 3,212.5 incidents last year—a decrease of 1.6 percent.
    • Burglary increased from 722.5 incidents per 100,000 to 730.8—an increase of 1.1 percent.
    • Motor vehicle theft dropped from 363.3 incidents per 100,000 to 314.7—a decrease of 13.4 percent.
    • Larceny dipped only slightly from 2,177.8 incidents per 100,000 to 2,167—a decrease of 0.5 percent.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to Crime and Recession: More Clues

    1. Pingback: » Financial News Update – 09/21/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.