Home Invasions In Poorest Vegas: Weed/Seed Fails

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Most home-invasion robberies in the Las Vegas Valley have occurred in the poorest neighborhoods, says a Las Vegas Review-Journal analysis of crime and census data. “You would think they would go where the money is, but research shows most will operate a short distance from where they live,” said criminologist Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University. “Most of the home invasion events you read about or see on television happen to middle-class or elderly folks, but I think that’s a result of the selectivity of what the media finds interesting…in fact, these are often acts of desperate individuals looking to get drug money or people who might feel out of place if they go to nice suburban areas where they might be more easily noticed as suspicious.”

Southern Nevada police agencies investigated at least 749 home invasions between January 2001 and mid-March. The crime accounts for only about 5 percent of all valley robberies in a year, with the number of home invasions growing at about the same rate as the region’s population. Criminologist Terry Miethe of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, noted that in two problem areas, the federal government began channeling $2.2 million in “Weed and Seed” money in 1994 weed out violent crime, gangs, drug trafficking and then “seed” the areas with social services and economic revitalization programs. “Gains were reversed because weeding was not sustained and seeding efforts never `took root,’ ” said a 1999 National Institute of Justice report. the police “went in there and won several awards for neighborhood crime prevention programs,” Miethe said. “But as soon as police leave, those areas went back to being crime-prone areas, so it’s not surprising you see all these home invasions there.”

Link: http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Jun-20-Sun-2004/news/24144219.html

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