Violent Crime Is Up Across America: Is That Really Not a Big Deal?

While new data from the FBI shows that violent crime is on the rise across the U.S. after five years of large declines, John Roman and Laura Pacifici argue that the modest increases don't necessarily predict the reversal of long-term trends.
June 5, 2013, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Yesterday, the FBI announced preliminary crime statistics for 2012 as reported by local police agencies. After five years of large declines in violence—and a more than two-decade trend toward less violence—the number of violent crimes were up slightly," report Roman and Pacifici.

"So, what are we to make of this increase? After more than two decades of declines, is violence making a comeback? Does this mean that we’re returning to the 1980s, when rampant violence was consistently listed among the nation’s most important problems?"

"Probably not," say the authors. "If you fit a line into very long-term trends, what you see is that in the last couple of years, violence declined below the expected rate predicted by the trend line."

"While 2012 does not appear to have been a particularly good year in our fight to reduce violence," they conclude. "it does not send a strong signal that darker days are coming."

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Published on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 in Urban Institute: MetroTrends Blog
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