Why are crime statistics down?


If you look at the latest crime statistics you are probably in for a surprise. Recorded crimes fell 5% to 4.7 million in 2009. Here are the latest stats for the UK:

  • Violence against the person down 6%
  • with injury down 7%
  • Domestic burglary up 1%
  • Offences against vehicles down 10%
  • Theft from the person down 12%
  • Criminal damage down 10%
  • Robbery down 5%
  • Drugs offences up 6%

Given the financial crash and concomitant job losses, unemployment is at new heights. So shouldn't crime be going up? Haven’t we always been told that unemployment, poverty, etc. is the driving force behind crime? Well, the latest facts from both sides of the Atlantic don't support this thesis and may never have, according to Heather Mac Donald in the WSJ. As such, the theoretical link between jobless numbers and the number of crimes lays in tatters.

It has long been argued that thwarted expectations turn the disillusioned youth towards crime. From there emerged the logic that crime could best be fought by a higher income distribution. The logical consequence of this mindset is that the police can do nothing really to bring crime down. That’s why the police in Britain have been content to report that crime figures are “stable". Now the facts have taught politicians and the police a lesson.