Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts

Editor’s Note: The New York Times reports that crime is decreasing throughout the country, except in New York City where the rates continue to rise. Hmm, maybe Mayor Michael Bloomberg should spend more time in his own city fixing his problems at home, rather than traveling around the country calling for more gun control — which doesn’t seem to be containing crime in the Big Apple.

The number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest rate in nearly 40 years, a development that was considered puzzling partly because it ran counter to the prevailing expectation that crime would increase during a recession.

In all regions, the country appears to be safer. The odds of being murdered or robbed are now less than half of what they were in the early 1990s, when violent crime peaked in the United States. Small towns, especially, are seeing far fewer murders: In cities with populations under 10,000, the number plunged by more than 25 percent last year.

The news was not as positive in New York City, however. After leading a long decline in crime rates, the city saw increases in all four types of violent lawbreaking — murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — including a nearly 14 percent rise in murders. But data from the past few months suggest the city’s upward trend may have slowed or stopped.


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