Violent crime in the U.S. has been falling for two decades, but when crimes occur, they mostly go unpunished, says NPR. For most major crimes, police don't make an arrest or identify a suspect. That's what police call "clearing" a crime; the "clearance rate" is the percentage of offenses cleared. In 2013, the national clearance rate for homicide was 64 percent. University of Maryland criminologist Charles Wellford says police have been pushed to focus more on prevention, which has taken precedence over solving crimes, especially non-violent offenses.
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