There’s something strange going on in America. The FBI’s 2010 Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report tells of a a 5.5 percent drop in violent crime and a 2.8 percent decline in property crime. [NSF bullet points after the jump.] With the economy in the tank, you’d think that crime would be on the upswing. Well, you might, if you were one of those Patrick Kennedy-types who blames bad behavior on society. You know: less opportunity to succeed through gainful employment, more desire to take what ain’t yours. Gun rights supporters reckon the falling crime rate is down to surging firearms sales. You know: deterrence by Ruger. Me, I’m going with technology . . .
Smart phones help catch dumb people. And maybe the wired world decreases the rage and frustration that under and unemployed folk feel when they’re disconnected from their fellow man. Nah. I’m sticking with techno-busts. Or something.
But rising gun sales? As much as I’d like to believe it, I’m not feeling it. Connecting the two trends is false synchronicity, which is nowhere near as good as what the Police did.
- In 2010, all four of the violent crime offense categories—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—declined nationwide compared with data from 2009. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 4.4 percent, forcible rape decreased 4.2 percent, robbery declined 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault was down 3.6 percent.
- Violent crime declined in all city groups. Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 saw the greatest decline in violent crime (6.9 percent). Violent crime in non-metropolitan counties decreased 6.4 percent, and in metropolitan counties, it declined 6.0 percent.
- Murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses dropped 25.2 percent in the nation’s smallest cities (under 10,000 in population). However, in cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999, murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses increased 3.0 percent.
- All city and county groupings experienced a decline in forcible rapes except in cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants, which showed the only rise in forcible rapes (1.9 percent).
- Robbery offenses decreased in all city and county groupings, with the largest decrease (10.9 percent) reported in cities with 500,000 to 999,999 inhabitants.
- Aggravated assaults decreased in all city groups. Cities with 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants experienced the greatest decrease (5.5 percent). Aggravated assaults declined in both county groups, with the largest decrease (5.8 percent) reported in non-metropolitan counties.
- Violent crime decreased in all four regions of the country in 2010. There was a 7.5 percent decrease in violent crime in the South, a 5.9 decline in the Midwest, a 5.8 percent decrease in the West, and a 0.4 percent decline in the Northeast.