Major crime in Georgia still is much lower than it was in the mid-1990s, but the falling crime rate that politicians and police officials have bragged about seems to have bottomed out, some criminologists say, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For the last three years, it [crime] was low,” said criminologist Robert Friedmann of Georgia State University. “Now it’s starting to go up. The question is, will it continue? What we’re experiencing is the beginning of a shift.” Metro Atlanta’s major counties all experienced increases in crime last year compared with the year before.
Statewide, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said crime reached its lowest point in two decades in 2000. Georgia’s shifts are consistent with what’s happening nationally, said Ryan King of the Washington-based Sentencing Project, which monitors sentencing and the criminal justice system. “The drop nationally in crime has leveled off,” King said. “Where it’s going to go next is a mystery. Some are suggesting that we’re going to level off for a while. Others are forecasting that we are going to start going up again.”