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Good InfoActually, Crime is Way Down–2023 Recorded Likely the Largest Single-Year Drop in...

Actually, Crime is Way Down–2023 Recorded Likely the Largest Single-Year Drop in Homicides Across US

Matt Popovich – Unsplash

The FBI’s most recent Quarterly Uniform Crime Report data for Q3 2023 shows that nearly all crime in the US is going down; some to pre-pandemic levels, some to multi-decade lows.

This includes a violent crime average, as well as murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery property crime, burglary, and larceny, with quarterly data showing the largest percentage declines ever recorded for the violent crimes.

It rubs against the public perception of rising crime in America driven, some suspect, by more widely distributed media content than ever before. This is particularly true for larceny, or petty theft and shoplifting, which got out of hand in San Francisco after a 2020 law removed it as a misdemeanor crime.

Videos of shoplifters brazenly robbing places like Rite Aid and Niemen Marcus were fodder for social media virality, and paired with riots across the US in the summer of 2020, it gave the impression that American cities were taking on the character of Kurt Russell’s Escape from New York.

Freelance crime analyst Jeff Asher believes this is exactly why Americans aren’t waking up to smell the roses—that crime is falling fast, all kinds of crime, nearly all over the country.

“Detroit is on pace to have the fewest murders since 1966 and Baltimore and St Louis are on pace for the fewest murders in each city in nearly a decade,” Asher writes on his Substack. “Murder is down 13.4 percent in cities under 100,000 with data in the sample and it’s down 12.6 percent in cities with 250,000 or more.”

Asher begs caution since the Unified Crime Report looks backward in a lag, and we won’t know for sure what kind of year 2023 was like until the final quarter is accounted for.

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“The quarterly data shows violent crime down in big cities, small cities, suburban counties, and rural counties, pretty much across the board,” writes Asher. “To put some of this in perspective, a 4 percent decline in the nation’s violent crime rate relative to 2022’s reported rate would lead to the lowest violent crime rate nationally since 1969.”

There are some caveats though. The FBI’s data was collected from agencies covering up to 78% of the American population, and the cities of Chicago and Los Angeles—no strangers to crime of all sorts—were not included as they reported no data.

Auto theft has risen in major population centers, and this is tempering what might otherwise look like near-record declines in property crime across the country.

Also buried in the FBI’s data are some interesting numbers on crime from counties that lie on the United States’ southern border.

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Eight cities—Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo, Eagle Pass, and El Paso in Texas; Sunland Park, New Mexico; Yuma, Arizona; and San Diego, had a homicide rate of 4.2 per 100k inhabitants, compared to a 6.2 national average.

In particular, El Paso, a city of 677,000, remains one of the safest communities of its size, according to an analysis by Axios.

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