mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Making Progress on Crime

In a heartening bit of good news, a federal government report logged the fourth consecutive year of falling crime rates across the country. The Wall Street Journal reports:

U.S. violent-crime rates fell for the fourth consecutive year in 2010, as police agencies across the country reported significant decreases in murders, robberies and property crimes, the federal government said Monday. […]

The statistics come as local governments from Trenton, N.J., to Chicago to San Diego grapple with slimmer budgets that have included freezes or cuts to police departments and other services. Federal spending intended to help communities keep cops on the job also is being constrained. […]

Law-enforcement officials credit improved policing in many big cities. Attorney General Eric Holder said local police and federal agents and prosecutors have “targeted gang leadership in communities from Florida to New York, and from Tennessee to North Carolina. We’ve renewed our commitment to fighting organized crime, whether it is traditional La Cosa Nostra or Mexican drug cartels.”

It is possible to overdo gloom. Despite the housing crisis, polarization in Washington and the economic difficulties facing working families, American society remains resilient, and American institutions can still be reformed.

Along with improving education and healthcare, tackling the crime rate has been among the largest challenges America has faced in the past few decades. Our efforts appear to be working. There is much still to be done, and Via Meadia continues to believe that too many people go to jail for non-violent drug offenses.

Still, at a time when too many people have given up on the promise of American life, we should celebrate important gains when we find them.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    I wonder how much of the drop in crime is due to the rise of Concealed Carry, and the demise of anti gun laws.

  • IgotBupkis

    >>> tackling the crime rate has been among the largest challenges America has faced in the past few decades. Our efforts appear to be working.

    Yes, but how and why? I fear it’s the sheeping of America, not any actual anti-crime efforts which lead to this. I’m 52 and the number of people who will put up with immense quantities of BS and rudeness and the like in order to not “make a scene” or such is scary to me. The number of people even willing to use their horn on the streets when faced with rude or stupid drivers too busy talking on the phone in order to pay attention to their ability to execute a turn or other seems to me to be substantially decreasing.

    If you’re unwilling to raise a fuss about something relatively minor, the chances of you standing up to a bully — and that means a government bureaucrat, among other things — is far, far lower than it needs to be to keep the government in check.

    I fear for the national character in the long run. It may well be that the liberals and their nanny-state policies have already won, and the rot simply hasn’t shown itself fully yet.

    “There is no week, nor day, nor hour, when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their supreme confidence in themselves – and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.”
    – Walt Whitman –

  • anthony

    According to the statistics the crime rate has been on the decline but nobody mentions the differences that still exist when it comes to particular types of crime. For example, Toronto is usually described as a safe city to live in and it is true that the the overall crime rate in the GTA has been on the decline in the last few years. However, there still are differences when it comes to particular types of break-ins (apartment break-ins and break-ins to houses). According to the statistics the number of house break-ins increased between 2008 and 2009 in our city which is a clear signal that the increase or decrease in the crime rate can hardly be generalized.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service