The Reuters news service has weighed in on the U.S. violent crime increase, which it says is “fueling criticism of Bush administration policies as a wave of murders and shootings hits smaller cities and states with little experience with serious urban violence.” Reuters says that from Kansas City to Indianapolis, places that rarely attract notice on annual FBI crime surveys are reporting significant increases in murder. Boston, once a model city in the battle against gun violence, is poised to eclipse last year’s homicide tally, which was the worst in a decade. The explanations vary — from less-restrictive gun laws to budget cuts, fewer police on the beat, more people in poverty and complacency. many blame a national preoccupation with potential threats from abroad.
Criminologist Jack Levin of Northeastern University focuses on budget issues. He says, “The feds had supported after-school programs. They had supported placing more police officers in crime hot spots in major cities. These federal efforts were reduced.” Crime expert Jens Ludwig of Georgetown University says, “The Bush administration has scaled back funding for federal cops program. From 1993 to 2000 we saw an impressive run-up in the number of law enforcement people patrolling against crime. That has really slowed down.”