Fox: Workplace Violence Stories, Stats Lacked Proper Context


Writing on his blog “Crime & Punishment,” criminologist James Alan Fox criticizes recent news coverage that has portrayed workplace violence as a growing problem. He said many reports lacked context in citing federal statistics that nearly 1,000 Americans are murdered on the job each year. He writes, “Actually, the number of workplace homicides has continued to drop steadily for well over a decade, mimicking the decline in homicide generally.”

Fox continues, “A better understanding of these workplace murder figures is sorely needed. The vast majority of the incidents involve robberies — taxicab holdups, convenience store stickups and assaults upon police and security officers. Many others stem from domestic disputes that spill over into the office suite. The least common form of workplace homicide, claiming fewer than 100 victims per year, are the murderous acts of disgruntled employees and ex-employees seeking revenge over work-related issues. The term ‘epidemic,’ which has been used to describe the problem of workplace violence and murder, is more hyperbole than reality.”

Comments are closed.