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.
Questions abound concerning an Ipsos poll on gun rights and regulations that was recently conducted for Thomson Reuters. From the Ipsos press release this morning:
Washington, DC – These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson Reuters from April 9th-12th, 2012 about gun rules and regulations.
• The NRA is a reasonably popular organization. Unsurprisingly, favorability towards the NRA is stronger among Republicans but a majority of Democrats have a favorable attitude towards the organization.
• As comparison points, we also asked about the NAACP, ACLU and AARP. AARP has the strongest favorability rates of the four organizations. Favorability towards the ACLU and NAACP are both strongly influenced by partisan ID.
• Americans are broadly supportive of restrictions or regulations on gun ownership.
• Only 6% say there should be no or very few restrictions on gun ownership.
• 62% oppose allowing people to bring a firearm into a church, workplace or retail establishment.
• 91% support background checks for gun purchasers.
• 69% support limiting the number of guns a person could purchase in a given time frame.
• 74% support laws limiting the sale of automatic weapons.
• However, Americans are also broadly supportive of a number of pro-gun laws including:
• Majorities support concealed carry laws and allowing the use of deadly force, both in homes and public places.
• Framing this discussion, Americans remain concerned with crime and are concerned about what is to be done about it.
• Almost half of Americans think crime rates are going up in their communities.
• Significant majorities do not think police can stop all crime from happening
• As a consequence, large majorities believe regular people need to step up to prevent crimes (leading to the Trayvon Martin incident).
I’m surprised the poll asked about automatic weapons (i.e. machine guns, according to actual survey question) as opposed to semi-automatic firearms. Machine guns are already highly restricted for law-abiding citizens. I wrote back on June 6, 2011:
According to the well-known firearms resource website GunCite.com, which focuses on a “comprehensive presentation of gun control and Second Amendment issues; analysis of firearms statistics, research, and gun control policies”:
It has been unlawful since 1934 (The National Firearms Act) for civilians to own machine guns without special permission from the U.S. Treasury Department . Machine guns are subject to a $200 tax every time their ownership changes from one federally registered owner to another, and each new weapon is subject to a manufacturing tax when it is made, and it must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in its National Firearms Registry.
To become a registered owner, a complete FBI background investigation is conducted, checking for any criminal history or tendencies toward violence, and an application must be submitted to the ATF including two sets of fingerprints, a recent photo, a sworn affidavit that transfer of the NFA firearm is of “reasonable necessity,” and that sale to and possession of the weapon by the applicant “would be consistent with public safety.” The application form also requires the signature of a chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction in the applicant’s residence.
Since the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of May 19, 1986, ownership of newly manufactured machine guns has been prohibited to civilians. Machine guns which were manufactured prior to the Act’s passage are regulated under the National Firearms Act, but those manufactured after the ban cannot ordinarily be sold to or owned by civilians.
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
GunCite also adds:
Twenty-five states have no further restrictions on civilian ownership of machine guns (some require registration with the state) than what is required by federal law. Other states have either placed further restrictions or outlawed operable machine guns to civilians entirely.
As existing laws mean automatic firearms are already highly-regulated for law-abiding citizens, and it’s semi-automatic guns (one trigger pull, one shot only) that are presently under attack by gun “control” supporters, in a poll about gun rights/regulation one would reasonably expect a question about limiting firearm sales to be about semi-automatics rather than machine guns.
In addition, note the following excerpt from the press release:
As a consequence, large majorities believe regular people need to step up to prevent crimes (leading to the Trayvon Martin incident)
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
Now, the original poll question:
Regular people need to step up to help prevent crime from happening
So where did “(leading to the Trayvon Martin incident)” come from?
Scratching my head about this poll.
You can read the entire press release and access the survey data on the Ipsos website here.
Then a high-ranking police insider showed me some documents. On a recent day shift, there were fewer than 1,100 officers actually working the streets. Compare this force of first responders with the 75,000 gang members the police estimate are out there. “We’re outmanned,” says this officer.
-Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, August 12, 2010
Is there a manpower shortage in the Chicago Police Department, like comments on the unofficial CPD blog Second City Cop and other alternative sites routinely suggest? Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy doesn’t seem to think so. From the Chicago Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Kristen Mack late Friday afternoon:
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the city doesn’t need more cops as it faces a $635 million budget gap.
“So far we’re showing we can get the job done with less,” McCarthy told the Tribune editorial board on Friday. “I just can’t in good conscious say that we need more when we’re not operating at peak efficiency.”
The department has moved almost 900 cops to beat patrols since the end of May, due primarily to the disbanding of two specialized units and the transfer of cops from desk jobs. The move has come following a campaign pledge made by McCarthy’s boss, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to put more than 1,000 officers on the streets. Critics contend he’s simply shuffling officers around.
The Tribune’s John Byrne talked about the criticism back on September 15. Byrne wrote:
Mike Shields, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, said the city needs to hire new cops to address the department’s vacancies, not just move officers around.
“There are 322 retirements year-to-date. There have been no new hires,” Shields said. “The Emanuel administration is counting transfers as new officers on the street.
“This is a shuffle,” Shields added. “If you keep saying 1,000 new officers are on the street, eventually people are going to believe it.”
According to Gorner and Mack, the Chicago Police Department has approximately 13,500 budgeted sworn positions, with roughly 1,400 of these currently vacant. Another 775 officers are on medical leave according to the CPD.
Those in support of keeping the department’s manpower at current levels point not only to the City of Chicago’s financial woes, but falling crime numbers computed by the CPD. Byrne added:
Emanuel also used a specific set of Police Department statistics to say that his police strategy is “gaining traction.” The data show crime was down 20 percent across Chicago from August through the first two weeks of September compared to the same time period last year.
According to Police Department numbers, homicides are down 31 percent during that time frame, shootings are down 21 percent and vehicle thefts are 12 percent below the 2010 mark for those six weeks.
The administration started the comparison on Aug. 1 because it took that long for earlier changes implemented by Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to take effect, according to a mayoral spokeswoman.
Overall, Chicago homicides have dropped nearly 7.5 percent from January through July compared to the same period last year, according to numbers police officials released in mid-August. Vehicle thefts had increased by 16.8 percent increase through July.
Chicago readers take note: The “thin blue line” that exists in the Windy City will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future. Carry on accordingly.
Gorner, Jeremy and Mack, Kristen. “Top cop says city doesn’t need more officers right now.” Chicago Tribune. 30 Sep. 2011. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-top-cop-says-city-doesnt-need-more-officers-right-now-20110930,0,970444.story). 3 Oct. 2011.
Byrne, John. “Emanuel cop shuffle questioned.” Chicago Tribune. 15 Sep. 2011. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-09-15/news/ct-met-mayor-rahm-emanuel-0914-20110915_1_mayor-rahm-emanuel-vehicle-thefts-new-officers). 3 Oct. 2011.
Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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