Crime Data Down; Fears Of Crime Still Up

(NewsNation) — New data shows crime is down in the U.S. but recent polling shows Americans’ fear of crime is at a 30-year high.

The Council on Criminal Justice examined data from the first half of 2023 and found drops in violent crime. Homicides were down 9.4% based on FBI data and the CCJ notes that if that trend continues through the end of 2023, it will be the largest single-year drop in murders since modern record-keeping began.

The report notes homicides began increasing in 2015, reaching a peak in 2021 before starting to decline. One piece of news that is less promising: Homicide clearance rates are also down, coming in at about 50% in 2022.

That means only half of murders resulted in an arrest and fewer than half resulted in a conviction.

Murder isn’t the only crime that’s down. A separate database shows a 12.7% decline in homicides, with an 8% decline in violent crime overall and a 6.3% decline in property crime, the lowest number since 1961. Gun assaults were also down 5.6%.

The only exception is auto theft, which is up at a 33.5% increase.

Yet while the crime data numbers paint a promising picture, Americans are saying something different.

Recent polling from Gallup showed 77% of Americans think crime is getting worse. Republicans are most likely to hold that view at 92%, but 78% of independents and 58% of Democrats also think crime is on the rise.

Theories about what’s causing the discrepancy include the way crime is covered by media as well as how easily crime stories can be shared on social media.

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