Violent crime is dropping fast in the U.S. — even if Americans don’t believe it : NPR


What you see depends a lot on what you’re looking at, according to one crime analyst.

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

hide caption

toggle caption

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

What you see depends a lot on what you’re looking at, according to one crime analyst.

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

In 2020, the United States experienced one of its most dangerous years in decades.

The number of murders across the country surged by nearly 30% between 2019 and 2020, according to FBI statistics. The overall violent crime rate, which includes murder, assault, robbery and rape, inched up around 5% in the same period.

But in 2023, crime in America looked very different.

“At some point in 2022 — at the end of 2022 or through 2023 — there was just a tipping point where violence started to fall and it just continued to fall,” said Jeff Asher, a crime analyst and co-founder of AH Datalytics.

In cities big and small, from both coasts, violence has dropped.

“The national picture shows that murder is falling. We have data from over 200 cities showing a 12.2% decline … in 2023 relative to 2022,” Asher said, citing his own analysis of public data. He found instances of rape, robbery and aggravated assault were all down too.

Yet when you ask people about crime in the country, the perception is it’s getting a lot worse.

A Gallup poll released in November found 77% of Americans believed there was more crime in the country than the year before. And 63% felt there was either a “very” or “extremely” serious crime problem — the highest in the poll’s history going back to 2000.

So what’s going on?

What the cities are seeing

What you see depends a lot on what you’re looking at, according to Asher.

“There’s never been a news story that said, ‘There were no robberies yesterday, nobody really shoplifted at Walgreens,'” he said.

“Especially with murder, there’s no doubt that it is falling at [a] really fast pace right now. And the only way that I find to discuss it with people is to talk about what the data says.”

There are some outliers to this trend — murder rates are up in Washington, D.C., Memphis and Seattle, for example — and some nonviolent crimes like car theft are up in certain cities. But the national trend on violence is clear.

NPR spoke to three local reporters — from Baltimore, San Francisco and Minneapolis — to better understand what is happening in their communities.

“We’ve seen two years now of crime incrementally going down, which I think is enough to say there’s a positive trend there,” said Andy Mannix, a crime and policing reporter for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

Rachel Swan, a breaking news and enterprise reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, says there are “two really visible crises” in the downtown area: homelessness and open-air drug use.

“And honestly, people conflate that with crime, with street safety,” she said. “One thing I’m starting to learn in reporting on public safety is that you can put numbers in front of people all day, and numbers just don’t speak to people the way narrative does.”

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Verve Times is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment