NYC Crime Reports Continue Down Despite Poor Economy


New York City’s major crimes count is continuing to fall this year in nearly every category, defying the common wisdom that hard times bring more crime, reports the New York Times. “The idea that everyone has ingrained into them – that as the economy goes south, crime has to get worse – is wrong,” said criminologist David Kennedy of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “It was never right to begin with.”

Murder, considered the bellwether crime, is down by nearly 13 percent so far this year, to 413 through Nov. 22, compared with 473 in the same period last year. Rape, robbery, burglary, grand larceny, and car theft are also on the decline. Experts have studied how shifts in crime might be attributed to economic indicators like consumer confidence, unemployment, or a faltering housing market, but the findings have been “rather equivocal,” said sociologist Steven Messner of the State University of New York at Albany. While there is generally thought to be a lag between changing economic conditions and new crime patterns, he said, “it could take a while to work its way through the system and into people's psychology. I would say the jury is still out on the impact of this most recent economic collapse.”

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