Report: Violent Crime Increased In 2016

Second straight year of an increase in violent crime

The latest figures on violent crime have been released and they're sobering: violent crime has risen for the second straight year.

The New York Times reports:

Violent crimes increased nationally last year by 4.1 percent and homicides rose by 8.6 percent, one year after violence increased by 3.9 percent and homicides jumped by 10.8 percent. A total of 17,250 people were murdered in 2016, the F.B.I. said.

While crime over all and violent crime remain well below their levels of the 1980s and 1990s, last year was the first time violent crime increased in consecutive years since 2005 and 2006, according to the F.B.I. data, which is collected from local police departments around the nation and released annually.

Areas that have over one million people residing in them saw a 20.3% increase in homicides; in areas with populations of less than 10,000, there was an 8.6% increase in murders. The city with the highest number of murders was Chicago, with 765.

The Times report goes on to quote New York University criminologist Mark Kleiman as calling the latest crime figures "ominous."

"What you worry about is that the trend is broken, and the numbers are going to go back up," said Kleiman. "A 20 percent increase in homicides over the past two years is not trivial. We’ve got what looks like a serious problem here."

However, the Times report cites the Brennan Center for Justice's projection that violent crime would decrease in 2017 by 0.6%.

The Times report dances around the reason as to why violent crime increased in 2015 and 2016, as the report pins the blame on "police brutality" causing residents to not cooperate with police, hence resulting in crime increasing. However, as I wrote last year, the increase in crime is due to what Heather Mac Donald calls "the Ferguson Effect," where police officers have been forced to back off from proactive policing due to the anti-cop rhetoric of Black Lives Matter.

President Trump ran as a law-and-order candidate and his Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions has undertaken efforts to crack down on crime, which would likely explain the Brennan Center's projection that violent crime will decrease in 2017. Trump and Sessions should continue their efforts in cracking down on crime and provide support for proactive policing.

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