Gallup: ‘Americans’ Direct Experience With Crime Is At A 16-Year High’

Ever get the feeling that crime is underreported these days?

If one is a politician, the motivation (survival) is definitely there. Particularly around election time.

So I wasn’t too surprised to learn of the following on the Gallup website the other day. Reporting on the findings of the company’s annual crime poll, Lydia Saad wrote November 10:

Twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults report that they or someone in their household was the victim of at least one form of conventional — meaning nondigital — crime in the past year. This is in line with the average 27% over the past four years, but up from an average of 24% in the early 2000s…

The conventional crimes that comprise Gallup’s crime victimization metrics include four different property crimes and three violent crimes that Gallup has asked about each year since 2000. In terms of the household numbers:

-17% of Americans say that property or money was stolen from someone in their household in the past year
-14% report having a home, car or other property vandalized
-5% say their home was broken into
-4% say a household member’s car was stolen

Smaller proportions of Americans say that a member of their household was a victim of any sort of violent crime in the past year. Of the three types asked about, the most common is a mugging or physical assault (3%), followed by armed robbery (2%) and sexual assault (1%)…

Americans’ direct experience with crime is at a 16-year high, consistent with a gradual increase — from 22% in 2001 to 29% today — in the percentage saying that they or a household member was the victim of a robbery, vandalism or violent crime in the past year…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The results for this Gallup poll were based on telephone interviews conducted between October 5-9, 2016, with a random sample of 1,017 adults across the country.

Since a picture can be worth a thousands words, I invite you to head on over to the Gallup website here to read the piece in its entirety, charts included.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


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Thursday, November 17th, 2016 Crime, Public Safety, Security, Self-Defense No Comments

Thoughts On Concealed-Carry Permits And Their Relation To ‘Falling’ Chicago Crime

“I don’t expect to see these numbers being touted by Chicago’s mayor or the national media, but they should. The Windy City is one of the areas of the nation most plagued by violence and their efforts to make the entire metropolis a ‘gun free zone’ have only fueled further violence by those who weren’t going to pay attention to the laws in the first place.”

-Jazz Shaw, conservative blog Hot Air, August 25, 2014

A number of alternative media outlets are discussing a supposed correlation between concealed-carry permits being issued in the state of Illinois and “declining” crime in Chicago. Kelly Riddell reported on the website of The Washington Times this past weekend:

Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.

“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”

As of July 29 the state had 83,183 applications for concealed carry and had issued 68,549 licenses… A July study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans have permits to carry concealed weapons, a 147 percent increase from 4.5 million seven years ago. Meanwhile, homicide and other violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent.

The apparent correlation between more concealed-carry permits and falling violent crime both locally and nationally is interesting. However, in the case of Chicago, I suspect there’s more at work here than just Chicagoans now walking around town armed with Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses and handguns.

“Better” policing, as Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy is supposedly countering with?

What changed?

I suspect the “falling” crime rates can also be attributed to crimes like robberies and burglaries just not being reported like they once were. I blogged back on Halloween of last year:

Enter the folks over at the insightful Chicago police blog Second City Cop, and something they wrote earlier this month. SCC blogged on October 16:

Perception is part of the key to people “feeling safe.” The other part is actually being safe, having a visible patrol presence, being seen making arrests, performing traffic stops, and interacting with the public. That isn’t happening in most “safe” neighborhoods because the manpower has been stripped (or retired without replacement) from those areas.

Add in a massive reclassification of crime, increased response times to discourage reporting of crime, making the 3-1-1 (Alternate Response) a nightmare to navigate through and you have all the makings of betraying trust with the community when they can see the uptick in crimes with their own eyes and they no longer believe your numbers.

Before I exited the city in May, I myself witnessed CPD manpower being stripped from my police district (16th), heard stories about this “massive reclassification of crime”- “downgrade and reclassify”- from Chicago police officers, and read about/personally experienced the “nightmare” in interacting with the Chicago Police Department (procedural, not personnel).

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Make reporting crime a big pain in the butt for residents, and reported crimes like robbery and burglary plummet. Simple as that.

That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if a real correlation did exist between more Illinois CCLs out there in the city and less robberies and burglaries. I just don’t think it’s responsible for most of the drop in crime.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Riddell, Kelly. “Chicago crime rate drops as concealed carry applications surge.” The Washington Times. 24 Aug. 2014. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/24/chicago-crime-rate-drops-as-concealed-carry-gun-pe/). 26 Aug. 2014.


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Chicago Tallies 415 Murders In 2013

Good news for the city of Chicago- murders stayed under the 500-mark in 2013. Jeremy Gorner reported on the Chicago Tribune website last night:

Homicides dropped 18 percent in Chicago last year and crime overall was down 16 percent, according to statistics released by the police department this morning.

The decline in homicides was a more modest 5 percent when compared with 2011. The department reported 435 homicides in 2011, 503 in 2012 and 415 in 2013…

Chicago has surpassed 500 murders twice in the last five years. In 2008, under Mayor Richard M. Daley, the number of homicides reached 513, declining to 460 in 2009, 437 in 2010, and 435 in 2011 before jumping to 503 in the first full year of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration.

Gorner also added in his piece:

Shootings across the city dropped by 24 percent from 2012 and 16 percent from 2011, according to the department’s numbers. Sexual assaults were down 6 percent from last year, robberies down 12 percent, serious battery down 16 percent, burglaries down 22 percent, motor vehicle thefts down 23 percent, thefts down 3 percent.

The reductions came at a price: Nearly $100 million in overtime pay, triple what was budgeted for 2013…

“Nearly $100 million in overtime pay”

Unsustainable, especially when you consider the City of Chicago’s growing financial woes.

As for the City’s rosy crime statistics- there’s talk the reported numbers don’t reflect the reality of Chicago’s criminal activity.

Personally, the news on the crime front is encouraging. But I’m going to take it with a grain of salt.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Gorner, Jeremy. “Chicago police: Crime down 16 percent, homicides down 18 percent.” Chicago Tribune. 1 Jan. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-police-crime-down-16-percent-homicides-down-18-percent-20140101,0,3868242.story). 2 Jan. 2014.


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Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 Crime, Debt Crisis, Government, Public Safety No Comments

Violent And Property Crime Rates For U.S. Residents Rose For Second Straight Year In 2012

There’s bad news out concerning violent and property crime rates nationwide. From a Bureau of Justice Statistics press release Thursday:

WASHINGTON – Violent and property crime rates rose for U.S. residents in 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. These estimates are based on data from the annual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) which has collected information from victims of crime age 12 or older since 1973.

The violent crime rate (which includes rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault) rose from 22.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 2011 to 26.1 in 2012. Crime not reported to police and simple assault accounted for the majority of this increase. Violent victimizations not reported to police increased from 10.8 per 1,000 persons in 2011 to 14.0 in 2012, and simple assault rates rose from 15.4 to 18.2 per 1,000. The rate of violent crime reported to police did not change significantly from 2011 to 2012.

The rate of property crime (which includes burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft) increased from 138.7 per 1,000 households in 2011 to 155.8 in 2012, primarily due to an increase in theft. The rate of theft victimization increased from 104.2 per 1,000 households in 2011 to 120.9 in 2012.

In 2012, 44 percent of violent victimizations and 54 percent of serious violent victimizations were reported to police. These percentages were not statistically different from 2011. The percentage of property victimizations reported to police declined from 37 percent in 2011 to 34 percent in 2012.

According to the press release for the previous year’s NCVS, between 2010 and 2011 the rate of violent victimization increased 17 percent, from 19.3 to 22.5 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older. The rate of total property crime increased 11 percent, from 125.4 to 138.7 victimizations per 1,000 households. Household burglary also increased 14 percent, from 25.8 to 29.4 victimizations per 1,000 households.

Pete Yost of the Associated Press pointed out yesterday on the ABC News website:

Crime rates had been declining since 1993, with an uptick in 2006 the only exception. From 1993 to 2011, the rate of violent crime declined by 72 percent.

You can read the entire BJS press release for the 2012 NCVS on their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Yost, Pete. “Survey Marks 2nd Year of Crime Increases.” Associated Press. 24 Oct. 2013. (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/survey-marks-2nd-year-crime-increases-20669881). 25 Oct. 2013.


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Friday, October 25th, 2013 Crime, Public Safety, Security, Self-Defense No Comments

Illinois Self-Defense Laws To Change?

Tuesday night CBS affiliate Channel 2 News in Chicago ran a special segment about Illinois self-defense laws, and the push to change them in the wake of concealed-carry being legalized in the state. CBS 2 Chicago News co-anchor Kate Sullivan noted:

Some states have “stand your ground” or “Castle Doctrine” laws, defining when a person can use self defense. Illinois has neither.

Investigative reporter Dave Savini went on to talk to crime victims Richard Niemic and Homer “Tank” Wright, as well as Illinois State Representative Dennis Reboletti (R- Elmhurst), pointing out:

State Rep. Reboletti says he is looking at writing new legislation to help define self-defense laws, and take away some of the prosecutorial discretion.

Interesting report…

“Gun Advocates Want Change To Illinois Self-Defense Laws”
CBS 2 Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


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Friday, September 27th, 2013 Crime, Firearms, Government, Legal, Self-Defense 1 Comment

‘Idyllic’ Naperville, Illinois, Plagued By Residential Burglaries

The City of Naperville, Illinois. Voted the second-best place to live in the United States by Money magazine in 2006. Named the wealthiest city in the Midwest in a 2010 study.

And these days, a town hit by a string of residential burglaries.

Melissa Jenco reported on the Chicago Tribune website on September 14:

Residential burglaries are plaguing Naperville with 12 occurring in less than two weeks, according to police.

In half of those cases between Aug. 29 and Sept. 10, the burglars entered unlocked homes at night while the owners were sleeping, police said. In nearly all of the daytime cases, doors and windows were forced open…

In the nighttime burglaries, the burglars seem to be sticking to the ground floor and swiping items that are easily accessible like laptops, wallets and other items people have left out. In the daytime when no one is around, they are going to other parts of the homes and have grabbed as much as $30,000 in jewelry from one residence, according to [Sergeant Lou] Cammiso.

“The burglars entered unlocked homes at night while the owners were sleeping.”

Unlocked homes at night? As the Office and Management and Budget and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning consider Naperville as being part of the Chicago metropolitan area, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest it’s probably not a very good idea for these Chicagoland residents to leave their doors unlocked overnight.

“Naperville Homes Looted While Owners Sleep”
YouTube Video

Consider what the host of the The Survival Podcast, modern survivalist Jack Spirko, recently said in his August 21 episode:

Do you lock your doors when you come home? Well, no. Well, why not? Well no one’s going to do anything. That’s normalcy bias. That’s normalcy bias. No one will do anything. Well, no one’s ever done anything on my street before. Doesn’t mean they won’t do it tomorrow.

If I was a criminal, and I was looking to break into a house- steal, murder, rape, abduct, whatever- whatever criminals want to do, do you think I would go to a place where people expect it? Or do you think I would go to a place where people are like “nothing like that ever happens here.”

You know, there are stupid criminals. They’ve even made a show called Stupid Criminals. And there are some real dumb ones. But most of them aren’t that stupid or they would be in jail or dead already. They stay alive and are successful because they have a little bit of intelligence going on. And that’s how they think:

“I’m going to go to a place that seems like a lily-white yuppie neighborhood where everybody’s probably afraid of guns. If they do have a dog it’s some little yippy-yappy little dog I can kick in the head and kill it. People don’t lock their doors. Kids are running around in the streets not paying attention to nothing. If I do break in the kid’s probably playing Call of Duty and won’t even notice it, while I beat the hell out of his mother.”

It sounds graphic… This is how these people think. There are people that live within several miles of you no matter where you are in the world that think this way.

All of Main Street U.S.A. should carefully consider what Spirko said.

Life is getting more grittier these days for many Americans. And the criminals appear to be getting more bolder. Now, I don’t think John Q. Public should be squirreling away the family in the suburban house just yet. But doing something as simple as locking one’s doors and windows at night, particularly if you live in the Chicagoland area in 2013, can go a long way in keeping “home sweet home” a reality.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Jenco, Melissa. “Naperville police warn residents about burglaries.” Chicago Tribune. 14 Sep. 2013. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-09-14/news/ct-met-naperville-burglary-folo-20130913_1_recent-burglaries-naperville-police-nighttime-burglaries). 18 Sep. 2013.


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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 Crime, Main Street, Security, Self-Defense No Comments

Burglaries Less Than A Block From Chicago Homes Of Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel?

When living in Chicago these days, burglaries come with the territory.

But at a time when the city’s leaders are telling anyone who will listen that “crime is down,” how many Chicagoans are aware of two burglaries- one confirmed and one alleged- that recently took place less than a block from homes belonging to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and President Barack Obama?

Evelyn Holmes reported on Chicago’s ABC 7 News website yesterday:

Chicago police have issued an alert after seven September burglaries in the South Side Hyde Park neighborhood…

Investigators say the most recent happened on September 12 in the 800 block of 52nd Street.

The crimes began on September 6 in the 5200 block of South Drexel.

After that, there were a half dozen reported break-ins along several Hyde Park blocks, including the 5100 block of South University, less than a block from President Obama’s South Side home.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

And then there’s this from the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop. From a September 1 post entitled “Robbery By Rahm’s House”:

And there was a robbery Sat morning on the corner by Rahms house. Report done but hush hush. No notification to CPIC or news affairs. Didnt want the bad press. Rahms wheels are falling off. And a half block from his house.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

If I were still living in Chicago, I wouldn’t find that “crime is down” claim very reassuring. Especially when you consider the following from “SCC” about the burglary by the Emanuel household:

There must have been about….what….a dozen cops parked within 500 feet of the robbery on progress? Yet it still occurred.

As for the Obama residence, from Chicago’s CBS 2 website back on June 18, 2012:

Even when the president isn’t in town, his block is closed off to all traffic – vehicular and pedestrian – except for persons who also reside on his block. The police presence and security of his home and surrounding location – even though he is hardly ever there – is 24/7.

Yet a burglary still took place less than a block away.

Reminds me of a part from the Steven Spielberg film 1941:

GENERAL STILWELL: Sergeant, I want you to set up a perimeter around the block.
SERGEANT: Yes, sir! What’s the objective, sir!
GENERAL STILWELL: Hold the block! You can hold one block can’t you?

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Holmes, Evelyn. “Hyde Park burglaries prompt community alert.” ABC 7 News. 16 Sep. 2013. (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/chicago_news&id=9249275). 17 Sep. 2013.

SCC. “Robbery By Rahm’s House.” Second City Cop. 1 Sep. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/09/robbery-by-rahms-house.html). 17 Sep. 2013.

Paulson, Scott. “Opinion: Obama Visits Bring Hefty Price Tag.” CBS 2. 18 June 2012. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/06/18/obama-visits-bring-hefty-price-tag/). 17 Sep. 2013.


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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 Crime, Government, Public Safety No Comments
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