The Justice Department said last year’s violent crime rate went up. This is the first time the rate has increased in nearly two decades. The category includes simple assaults, which include threat with no weapon and minor injuries, and serious violent crime which includes rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The Bureau of Justice collected data showing a 22 percent increase in assaults.
Serious violent crime had a slight increase labeled insignificant. Where the jump occurred is in the simple assault category. Last year saw the assault victim rate reach 22.5 per 1,000, an increase from the previous year’s rate of 19.3 per 1,000.
The results also show a shift in victims of serious violent crime. The number of victims increased among White and Hispanic but not Black. It also showed the number of victims increased among young men but not young women. Nearly half of violent crimes are not reported to the police.
Property crime increased for the first time in a decade. Household burglaries and theft also increased from the previous year figures.
The U.S. has two major data collection programs, the Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI and the National Crime Victimization Survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The FBI’s annual crime report is due out the end of October. Recent statistics have academic experts speculating the era of declining crime rate is ending.
What does the increase in simple assault among young men and theft suggest about the state of the country? It seems to suggest frustration with the economy. Unemployment extensions have run out for many. Businesses do not want to hire the unemployed feeling they lost their edge. Work forces are shifting to part-time to save on labor cost. People have lost their jobs, their homes and lifestyle. They have reached their breaking point. They have become desperate and the saying goes “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
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