When it comes to crime news, there never seems to be any good news. However, when you look closely at available crime statistics, it’s not as bad as it seems. In fact, people tend to think crime is much worse than it really is. So here are a few crime stats that will restore your faith in law and order…
Crime Has Fallen for the Past 20 Years
America is safer than it’s been in decades. Across the nation, instances of assault, burglary, and other crimes have fallen dramatically. Between 1991 and 2011, the homicide rate fell 50 percent. From 1994 to 2012, the number of violent crimes per 1,000 people also halved. The crime rate in New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles are at their lowest levels in over 50 years. Even looking at crime statistics by zip code you can see that crime has fallen pretty much everywhere in the country.
The reason for this national decrease in crime is hotly debated by law enforcement and public policy experts. Some credit increased gun control or harsher sentencing. Others claim more… interesting sources. Anyway you look at it, the decrease is good news for any home owner.
99 Percent of Missing Children are Found
Realizing that your child has gone missing would be a terrifying moment for any parent. Of course, no one is going to calm down in that situation but there is some good news: 99 percent of missing children that are reported to police are found. Every year, approximately 800,000 children are reported missing. While the success rate is high, roughly 10,000 children aren’t found. The FBI says the vast majority of missing children are found within the few first hours after their reported missing. About one in 10,000 missing children reported to local police is not found alive.
During a 1998 study, parents said they were more concerned with abductions than drug addiction, car accidents, or sports injuries. Fortunately, parents don’t have as much to worry about as they would have 22 years ago. The recovery rate for missing children was only 62 percent in 1990.
Kids are Less Likely to Use Drugs
Parents worry about their kids using drugs. Politicians worry about kids doing drugs. Maybe it’s time they find out what kids are really up to. As it turns out, drug use among teenagers has been on the decline for years. Teenagers today are substantially less likely to use any type of drug than teens in the 1970s or 1980s. In general, drug use of any kind among teens has declined steadily. There have been a few increases in the popularity of specific drugs at various points. In the early 2000s, for example, ecstasy saw a rise in usage. Marijuana use among teens is currently higher than it has been in recent years. But the overall rate of marijuana use is the lowest it’s been since 1997.
Violent Video Games Actually Leads to Less Violent Crime
There is no shortage of violent media available these days. From zombie apocalypse video games to brutal movie adaptations of even more violent comic books, it’s easy to get your fill of blood and gore. For years, parent groups and social conservatives have railed against such media for glorifying and encouraging violence. Shockingly (at least to the people that aren’t fans of such media), violent images or games don’t make people more violent. As it turns out, the exact opposite is true. According to research based on studies conducted by the University of Texas, “violent video games lead to decreases in violent crime.”
The study did note an increase in aggression in subjects that played violent video games. However, researchers noted this aggression was only seen in lab settings and that “there is no evidence that violent video games cause violence or crime.” Sure, these findings probably won’t get game publishers to drop the rating system anytime soon but it’s good to know kids aren’t getting be traumatized by our collective love of Left 4 Dead.