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Are crime rates actually on the rise?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Criminal Defense

You may hear people say that the crime rate in the United States has been rising dramatically. They may even say that it is skyrocketing or something of this nature.

But is that actually true? Historical trends indicate that crime gets less common year after year. Has this trend changed recently?

Data is more complex than many people realize

It’s hard to determine exactly what is happening with crime rates. For one thing, a data analyst connected to the CIA said that there isn’t a “common definition” of crime. That alone makes it difficult to track what’s happening with overall statistics. These stats are also reported differently from one law enforcement agency to the next, and some of them do not consistently report statistics at all. 

That said, analysts can track specific statistics for certain types of crime. An example of this would be murder stats. Due to the prevalence of mass shootings in the United States, along with numerous other factors, murder statistics did increase by 30% in recent years. This was the largest increase ever recorded over one year, happening from 2019 to 2020. In 2021, homicides also increased by 4.3%.

One key thing to consider is the historical data. Even though murder rates have gone up in the last few years, the data analyst was quick to point out that they’re still far lower than the rates from the 1990s. 

It will be interesting to see if this is a temporary change, which goes back to the historical downward trend, or a shift in the other direction. Either way, those who have been arrested need to be sure that they understand all of their legal defense options.