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America's Crime Epidemic

16% say they or a family member has been a victim in the past year.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Gut-wrenching crime has been a staple diet in America. Generally speaking, crime in the U.S. increased during the pandemic across the nation.

The trend in 2022 is pointing up, and crime statistics are shocking.

New York City received 29,608 crime complaints in 2022, up from 20,543 in the same period in 2021, a 44% increase. Many New Yorkers are afraid to take the subway.

Chicago had 12,665 complaints in 2022, up from 9,339 in the same period in 2021, a 36% increase. 2021 was the deadliest year in a quarter-century and one of the most violent years.

The most recent FBI violent crime data shows the rate of violent crime in the U.S. in 2020 was 398.5, down from 404.5 in 2010 and 506.5 in 2000. Though the long-term trend is down, violent crime increased in 2020 from 380.8 in 2019.

In a Golden/TIPP Poll conducted in early March, one in six Americans (16.6%) or their family members has been victims of crime in the past twelve months. The poll asked Americans: have you or a family member been a victim of a crime in the last 12 months? The responses tallied as follows:

  • 9% Yes, I was a victim of crime
  • 7% Yes, a family member was a victim of crime
  • 80% No
  • 3% Not sure
Golden/TIPP Poll results: How many Americans have themselves or a family member been a victim of crime in the last 12 months?
Have you or a family member been a victim of a crime in the past 12 months?

There were significant differences by race and place of residence. The incidence of crime by race:

  • 13% of Whites,
  • 23% of Blacks, and
  • 25% of Hispanics.

The incidence of crime is the highest in urban America. By area type, the incidence of crime is:

  • 22% Urban,
  • 14% Suburban, and
  • 14% Rural.
Golden/TIPP Poll Results: How many americans have experienced crime in the past 12 months

Increasing Crime

The data aligns with a recent TIPP Poll conducted in late October 2021 for the National Sheriffs Association (NSA). In that survey, 43% said crime in their community had increased in the past year.

  • 20% Increased a lot,
  • 23% Increased a little,
  • 36% Remained the same,
  • 4% Decreased a little,
  • 6% Decreased a lot, and
  • 10% Not sure.
NSA/TIPP Poll Results: Has crime in American communities increased, or decreased in the past year

Over one-half of urban residents (51%) reported a spike in crime, compared to 42% of suburban and 36% of rural residents.

Increasing Police Funding

Increasing police funding and effective law enforcement are critical to reducing crime.

In the October TIPP Poll for the National Sheriffs Association, four in ten (42%) wanted to increase police funding, while one in six (17%) wanted to decrease it. One-third (33%) wanted no change.

NSA/TIPP Poll Results: Should American communities Increase or decrease police funding

There were no significant differences among the urban (40%), suburban (43%), and rural (44%) categories when it came to thoughts on increasing police funding.

By region, 45% of the South, 43% of the West, 40% of the Northeast, and 36% of the Midwest support increasing police funding.

By race, 48% of Whites support increased funding compared to only 31% of Black and 33% of Hispanics.

National Sheriff Associtation/TIPP Poll Results:  Should police funding be increased or decreased in American communities?

The rising crime data begs for increased police funding and stricter law enforcement. Strong leadership can make a difference. In the late 1990s, crime in New York City fell under the leadership of Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Americans must hold their local administrators and politicians accountable for their actions. Those who are incapable of providing leadership must face their fate at the ballot box.

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