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Violent Crime In All Categories Rose In First Six Months of 2015: FBI

Reported violent crime in all categories increased in the first six months of last year compared with 2014, the FBI said today. There were 6.2 percent more murders reported, 1.1 percent more rapes, 2.3 percent more aggravated assaults and .3 percent more robberies. Although the report covers only half of the year, it may settle for now the debate over whether crime is rising or falling in the U.S. Media reports surveying a selection of cities had offered a mixed […]

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St. Louis Crime Up, But Chief Says “Ferguson Effect’ Is Reduced

Despite a drop in serious crimes reported in St. Louis in the last half of 2015, totals for the year still represent increases over 2014, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 18.2 percent increase in homicides dominated the headlines, but reported robberies increased 14.6 percent and aggravated assaults were up 5.2 percent. There were 16 fewer rapes reported. Vehicle theft rose 3.1 percent and larcenies 1.7 percent. The number of burglaries was nearly the same. Overall, the department said, the […]

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Can a Computer Predict Crime?

Can machines predict where crimes occur before human beings do? Will the technology be used in unbiased ways? How will these devices affect privacy? As concerns grow over what are called predictive-policing methods and their effect on Americans, one thing is clear: these new crime-fighting tools are not only being implemented around the country; they are increasing in sophistication and scope. Technology such as PredPol, which runs crime reports through an algorithm to discover locations with a high probability of […]

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After Decade Of Falling Crime, All Categories Increased In L.A. This Year

For the first time in more than a decade, all categories of crime rose across Los Angeles this year as police struggled to get control of the problem, the Los Angeles Times reports. Violent crime reports climbed 19.9 percent and property crime increased 10.3 percent through Dec. 26 compared with the same period last year, said police data. It marked the second year in a row that violent crime rose, but the first time since 2003 that both violent and […]

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Durham NC Murders, Shootings Double; “Live Wire” Gang Members Cited

Forty-two people have died at the hands of others in Durham, N.C., this year, almost double the number killed last year and the most in any one year since the city began counting homicides in 1980. This year is also notable because 198 people have been shot or suffered shooting-related injuries in 2015, more than double the 95 shooting victims in 2014. Guns were the weapons used in nearly 70 percent of the homicides this year, reports the Raleigh News […]

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Criminologist Says Rap Music Shouldn’t Be Used To Incriminate Defendants

Criminologist Charis Kubrin of the University of California Irvine studies the perception of rap music in society and how a defendant's rap lyrics can be used as evidence against him in a criminal trial. Kubrin says rap lyrics are stereotyped as violent, dangerous and threatening, while lyrics in other genres of music are viewed as artistic expression. The stereotype exists in courtrooms, where prosecutors unfairly use rap lyrics as incriminating evidence against defendants, she tells the Orange County Register. “Rap […]

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Crime Rate Projected to Decrease Slightly from 2014

An updated analysis of crime data from the 30 largest U.S. cities shows overall crime in 2015 is projected to decrease by 5.5 percent from 2014, the Brennan Center for Justice said yesterday. Using statistics through Dec. 23, researchers reached the same conclusion as they did in the organization's November report entitled “Crime in 2015: A Preliminary Analysis”— that overall crime numbers remained about the same in 2015 as in 2014—but found slightly different percentages. As in the preliminary report, […]

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BJS Issues State-By-State Victimization Estimates For The First Time

For decades, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program has issued reports on crimes reported to local police departments and the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) has reported on results of a survey of Americans that shows that many crimes are unreported. Last year, NCVS said that 54 percent of violent crimes were not reported to police. The nonreporting rate is higher with rape and sex crimes, about two-thirds of which are not reported. Until now, however, […]

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Financial Toll Of San Bernardino Massacre Put At $125 Million

Pain, grief and emotional loss follow mass shootings, and there are also other costs that constitute violence’s financial toll. Ted Miller, a health economist with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, tells NPR that when then-U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in a 2011 incident that left six people dead and 13 injured, her medical costs alone were over $500,000. Each death was worth $7 million, he says, saying he analyzes how much people say they would pay […]

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FBI Issues Detailed Report On 5.4 Million Criminal Offenses Last Year

The FBI has issued details on some 5.4 million criminal offenses reported via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) last year. NIBRS, which the FBI hopes eventually will replace its annual summary report called “Crime in the United States,” includes details about victims, known offenders, and relationships for 23 offense categories comprised of 49 offenses. The FBI acknowledged that the NIBRS data are not nationally representative because they cover only 35.2 percent of law enforcement agencies that participate in the […]