Measuring the prevalence of crime is a critical element in determining the effectiveness of policies and interventions implemented throughout society. However, many people believe that crime is increasing. Despite this perception, statistical data does not support this prospect (Bureau of Justice, 2014; Bureau of Justice, 2013). A review of recent crime data, and trends will be provided in demonstrating that crime is decreasing.
The number of homicides happening on a yearly basis is a critical measure in determining whether or not crime is decreasing. As addressed by the Bureau of Justice (2014) research has indicated that the number of homicides occurring annually has drastically decreased since the 1980’s. This research further demonstrated that in 1981, there were 10 homicides for every 100,000 people. This research further demonstrated that in 2011, there were 6 homicides for every 100,000 people. However it should further be noted that this report further indicated that homicides as a whole have been on a decline since 1995.
In another report, the Bureau of Justice Programs (2013) demonstrated that both violent and property crimes have fallen over the past two years. This report further demonstrated that both violent crimes (non-homicides) and property crimes increased during 2011, 2012, but drastically decreased in 2013. Although no information was provided as to why both types of crimes were minimized, this report demonstrates that society experienced a reduced prevalence of crime in 2013. However, it should be noted that this research was based on what 90,000 random people in the United States report and not on data collected by law enforcement officials. Despite this method, the Bureau of Justice Programs has administered this survey with the same delivery on an annual basis and is widely used to determine if the prevalence of violent and property crimes have increased.
The findings of another report issued by the Bureau of Justice Programs (2014) suggest that individuals who are the victim of violent crimes are more likely to know their offender. This report further demonstrated that individuals were frequently in a romantic relationship with their attacker. However, this report further demonstrated that most individuals who were victimized had a domestic relationship (family member, etc.) with their attacker. Yet the method in which the victim was attacked (sexual assault, rape, firearm, etc.) tended to vary. The degree of the victim’s injuries also varied, however, all victims lived through their attack. As a whole, the findings in this report would suggest that acts of random victimization are rare.
Although many people believe that crime is increasing, this belief is not supported by statistical data. In contrast, crime as a whole has decreased over the past few years. In exploring individual types of crimes, research has demonstrated that homicide rates have drastically declined over the past decade. Research also demonstrated that over the past two years, property crimes and violent crimes (not involving a homicide) have also decreased. In exploring whether or not crime is a randomized process, research has suggested that individuals are statistically more likely to know their victims. In conjunction these findings discredit the notion that crime in society continues to increase.