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Crime rate decline puzzles theorists
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Boston Globe/Associated Press

Boston Globe/Associated Press, September 14, 2010
Posted: September 20th, 2010

Violent crime declined 5.3 percent last year, the third straight annual fall, the FBI reported [on September 13]. The drop was accompanied by a 4.6 percent drop in property crime, marking the seventh consecutive year that nonviolent crime has dropped. The figures challenge theories among some criminal analysts that crime tends to rise in times of uncertain economies. In the 1970s and early 1980s, when the economy went south, crime rates went up. Inflation was high then, which could account for the different reaction. James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, said that although the downward trend is encouraging, the economy could come back to haunt us because of a nearly 10 percent drop per capita in police budgets in the past few years. There is a connection between the economy and crime rates, but its not that when the economy is bad, people go out and commit crime, said Fox. When the economy is bad, he said, there are budget cuts. Less is spent on youth crime prevention and crime control on the street.

Note: Robbery and violent crime rates have dropped over 50% since 1994. Take a look at the graphs on the US Department of Justice website available here. Why isn't this highly inspiring news given top headlines?

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