The New York Times and other news agencies are triumphally spewing out stories claiming that crime in America declined significantly over the last year, according to the FBI.
The FBI data shows property crime fell 6.3 percent compared to the same time last year and all categories of crime except for auto theft went down.
But a new Gallup poll finds that 92% of Republicans, 78% of independents, and 58% of Democrats believe crime is rising. How to explain the discrepancy? The NY Times and others say too many Americans are brainwashed by watching Fox News.
But there are a lot of reasons to believe crime rates are still high. First, a Justice Department survey of criminal victimization last year found a lot of crime goes unreported, and indeed more people are reporting they were victims of violent crime.
Second, the drop in crime reported by the FBI comes after the aberration of the COVID-19 pandemic. You no longer have large numbers of inmates from jails and prisons being released during the first two-plus years of the pandemic. A number of cities have reversed their cuts in police. Schools are no longer closed down.
Third, the FBI data is hardly pristine. In 2022, it was learned that some of the largest police departments in the country didn’t report their data to the FBI.
Even if the FBI data is correct, the murder rate is still higher than it was in 2019 – pre-pandemic. One possible reason for the slight decline in the murder rate is that a record one out of seven registered voters are now legally carrying concealed handguns for protection. We bet you won’t read THAT statistic in the Times.