National Violence Report Increase Issue: Has U.S. Hit Crime-Rate Floor?


Reacting to yesterday’s FBI compilation saying that violent crime reports in the U.S. increased 1.2 percent last year, Dennis Jay Kenney of John Jay College of Criminal Justice told the New York Times, “We probably now have answered the question of how low [the crime rate] can go, and we may be bouncing off the bottom now.” Kenney cautioned that seeking to pin a reason for a single year's increase in serious crime was inadvisable. “We probably need another year to tell if we've got a pattern here,” he said. Joseph Pollini, another John Jay College professor, said another possible contributing factor was that there were fewer police officers on patrol in some metropolitan areas that have cut spending sharply because of the recession. “You're dealing with depleted police resources,” he said of budget cuts that have caused a reduction in the size of nearly every urban police department. Among the big cities where violent crime increased was Indianapolis, with an 840,000 population. While murders rose only modestly — the 101 last year were five more than in 2011 — there were nearly 780 additional violent crimes in the city. The Baltimore Sun said its city had the nation’s sixth highest murder rate, behind Flint, Mi., Detroit, New Orleans, Jackson, Ms., and St. Louis.

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