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  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default America’s safer streets: why is elusive

    Hat tip to a "lurker" for this article in The Economist, the full title is:
    America’s safer streets. The great crime decline continues. No one is sure why
    Link:http://www.economist.com/node/21560870

    The truth is that no one predicted America’s great crime decline, and no one has a definitive explanation for it. Particularly confounding has been an acceleration in the drop since 2008; many observers thought a poorer country would be a less law-abiding one....an ageing society like the United States should expect to experience less violent crime. Immigration also matters, he says: studies have repeatedly shown that cities with large immigrant populations experience lower rates of violent crime......in states with a particular fondness for imprisoning citizens, such as California, the policy may have done more harm than good.
    Some of the comments are interesting.

    As Chicago had its own thread a while back:
    Most striking is an unexpected spike of gang-related violence in Chicago, where murders are up by 28% so far this year. Against a backdrop of a long-term decline in all crime in the city, as well as a 10% decline for the year, the sudden unrest has caused some alarm.
    The previous Chicago thread (2008-2012):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5319
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-26-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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    http://www.npr.org/2012/01/03/144627...g-held-beliefs

    And I give a lot of the credit to the police, who were focused on the changing of behavior because we have finally come to appreciate that crime is not caused by, but influenced by, the economy sometimes, by the weather sometimes, by demographics sometimes, by poverty, by racism. Those are influences which for 30 years criminologists, academics and politicians told us that they were the causes of crime.

    The cause of crime is quite simple: It's human beings who decide intentionally to commit a crime, criminals, or many others who get caught up in the moment of passion under the inducement of alcohol or drugs and commit crimes. That's what police exist for, to control behavior.
    Break

    New York City is the principal feeder of the New York state prison system. New York state is, in fact, closing prisons because the prison population has declined. Effectively, it goes back to my point again about the emphasis on police changing behavior, controlling behavior to such an extent you change it.

    We are going to be tested in the next several years as a large part of that prison population is being accelerated out of prison because of budget issues, et cetera, and coming back into an environment where, in many cases, they're not going to be under supervision of parole agents or probation agents.
    David, this is your area of expertise, but as you know I'm a strong opponent of the poverty theory which now is seriously being challenged with statistics and in my view it has been disproven. A contributing factor yes, but not the cause.

    It is a behavior choice, and a choice that can and has been influenced by the actions of the police and community at large. I think we would be remiss not to give police departments that are learning organizations credit where it is due. Obviously good policing isn't the only factor, but I suspect those other factors will at best remain hypothetical and different for each city. I also suspect that the level of crime will increase and decrease over time due to various factors. Some things I would like to see considered are:

    - Demographic trends: what has changed from the peak crime time frame to the low crime time frame in age, gender, race, economic status, etc.? This could lend support or a challenge to the birth control/legalized abortion theory.

    - Gang distribution/competition: have the gangs come to agreement on turf and what part of the black economy they control? Seems to me from outside observer perspective that much of the violence in high crime areas is competition for control. For example, the violence in parts of Iraq was reduced after one ethnic group was largely forced out of an area.

    - Increase or decrease in funding for: police, drug rehabilition, mental hospitals, prison system, etc.

    - The impact of our education system on the kids (perhaps installing values in the inner city where some families that are families in name only, do not).

    Enforcement is one thing, but it is a crying shame that up to 1% of our populace is locked up at anyone time. We need to take a hard look at ourselves and figure out what is going on.

  3. #3
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Some reasons are really simple, such as improved anti-theft protection of cars based on their increasingly complicated electrical system.

    Germany's car theft statistic experienced a 60-70% decline of such thefts since the early 90's.


    (The again, some Germans would say quite disrespectful things about Poland in this context. )

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    One of the things that I think is overlooked in trying to figure why crime rates differ from city to city is something that can't be quantified, which is why it may be overlooked. Do the criminals have a degree of de-facto political power? If they do, the critical things that must be done, prosecution, conviction and genuine penalties being given, won't be done. That was one of the things that seemed to exist in New Orleans. Criminals who fled to Houston after Katrina were shocked that they were actually going to be locked up for a long time for things that would have gotten them little or no time in New Orleans. It seemed to indicate that the crooks and all their relatives and friends were having a real effect on how the law was enforced in New Orleans.

    I saw this once in a minor way. A very high ranking police officer I knew retired and ran for magistrate judge. One of appeals he made to voters was not what you would have expected from a high ranking retired cop. He said that he would make sure people who came before him were dealt with more leniently. He did that because he expected it to get votes. In a minor way he was appealing for the votes of law breakers.

    I wonder if something similar has happened in Chicago. I looked at the thread David linked to and found these quotes.

    Majormarginal said this.

    We have had a version of Compstat for years. We also have courts that consider enforcement of broken windows theory arrests to be Police harassment. Chicago Officers have been in Federal Court facing civil charges of violating civil rights. In my experiences the truth means nothing in Federal Court.

    Our State's Attorney's office has to approve felony charges except in the cases of drug offenses. Felony charges are usually not approved. Even in cases of battery on a police officer unless there are serious injuries sustained by the officer felony charges will not be approved. Offenses committed outside of Cook County will often result in felony convictions that would not even go to felony court in Cook County.

    An arrest situation can result in the death of an officer, time spent in Federal Court answering civil rights charges, injury, or prison for the officer. If you want to feel betrayed by your country be a cop in Federal Court.

    The vast majority of shootings I have encountered involved players who would still be in prison if they served their full sentences after conviction.

    We do not lack the physical and moral courage to do our jobs. The entire system is dysfunctional.
    Watcher in the Middle said this.

    Matt, a bigger part of the problem is Cook County government. Remember, the City of Chicago doesn't run the judicial system - it's Cook County or State of Illinois. There's where the real problems exist. The corruption and patronage is so bad in those areas, and it has so hamstrung law enforcement efforts in different areas, that I am just amazed that people just sit there and take it.
    And Zenpundit said this.

    What Chicago does not have - and what you will not see due to Daley machine alliances with organized crime, including street gangs - is gang control
    So it may be that the problem in Chicago has more to do with the local political climate than with how well the cops are doing their jobs or what specific laws are on the books. This is all a guess on my part from watching from afar. What do others think of this idea?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-27-2012 at 09:25 AM. Reason: Fix quotes
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    With the increased quality of anti theft features on cars carjacking has increased.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Majormarginal View Post
    With the increased quality of anti theft features on cars carjacking has increased.
    Not in my place...

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    Posted by Carl

    So it may be that the problem in Chicago has more to do with the local political climate than with how well the cops are doing their jobs or what specific laws are on the books. This is all a guess on my part from watching from afar. What do others think of this idea
    ?
    I think it can definitely be a factor. Friends in NYC told me the mob was alive and well, but due to an under the table agreement that don't conduct visible crimes in the streets because the people don't want to see the crime. The crime is still there, but not visible, and not accounted for statistically (good ole measures of effectiveness and measures of performance, they make liars out of all of us). Not sure how much this is exaggerated, but it seems reasonable.

    Maybe this what Covey would call the third alternative?

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default The End of Gangs -

    Interesting article from Pacific Magazine:

    http://www.psmag.com/navigation/poli...c-crime-95498/

    Some of this is a state and national story, as violent crime declined by about 16 percent in both California and the nation from 2008 through 2012. But the decline has been steeper in many gang-plagued cities: 26 percent in Oxnard, 28 percent in Riverside, 30 percent in Compton, 30 percent in Pasadena, 30 percent in Montebello, 50 percent in Bell Gardens, 50 percent in El Monte.

    Santa Ana once counted 70-plus homicides a year, many of them gang-related. That’s down to 15 so far in 2014, even as Santa Ana remains one of the densest, youngest, and poorest big cities in California. “Before, they were into turf,” says Detective Jeff Launi, a longtime Santa Ana Police gang investigator. “They’re still doing it, but now they’re more interested in making money.”

    No place feels so changed as the city of Los Angeles. In 2014, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that gang crime had dropped by nearly half since 2008. In 2012, L.A. had fewer total homicides (299) citywide than it had gang homicides alone in 2002 (350) and in 1992 (430).

    For the most part, Latino gang members no longer attack blacks in ways reminiscent of the Jim Crow South. Nor are gangs carjacking, assaulting, robbing, or in a dozen other ways blighting their own neighborhoods. Between 2003 and 2013, gang-related robberies in the city fell from 3,274 to 1,021; gang assaults from 3,063 to 1,611; and carjackings, a classic L.A. gang crime born during the heyday of crack, from 211 to 33.
    The article credits the positive feedback of several factors: smarter, more community-oriented policing by the LAPD; gang injunctions to drive gangs off the street; Federal/state/local cooperation and the use of the RICO statute to arrest large numbers of gang members; gentrification, which broke up many traditional gang neighborhoods.

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    Initial reports were that a 'pistol' was used - note the range estimation from where the shooters were positioned. Sounds like a pistol-caliber carbine, possibly scoped.

    (CNN)Almost two days after two officers were shot and wounded at a Ferguson, Missouri, protest, investigators were still seeking breaks in the case, authorities said Friday.
    The shots rang out from a hill overlooking the station shortly after midnight Wednesday, at the end of a protest against the Ferguson Police Department. Officers saw "muzzle flashes ... about 125 yards away," Belmar said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/13/us/ferguson-protests/

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default What Caused The Crime Decline?

    A new paper from the Brennan Center for Justice (USA), eighty pages minus tables etc and not opened yet here:https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/...me_Decline.pdf

    From the foreword:
    This report addresses a critical question: What caused the American crime decline? Was it incarceration? Was it policing? Or was it something else? This groundbreaking empirical analysis from the Brennan Center shows that, on examination, the easy answers do not explain incarceration’s effect on crime.
    This report presents a rigorous and sophisticated empirical analysis performed on the most recent, comprehensive dataset to date.The authors conclude that incarceration had relatively little to do with the crime decline. They find that the dramatic increases in incarceration have had a limited, diminishing effect on crime. And they have quantified those minimal benefits. At today’s high incarceration rates, continuing to incarcerate more people has almost no effect on reducing crime.
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    I'm sure there are multiple factors that contribute to this positive trend ranging from demographics to education. I also suspect we're incarcerating too many people for too long for relatively petty crimes, but I don't think anyone would want to see our prisons emptied. We have a lot really bad folks behind bars that need to stay behind bars, while the three strikes and you're out law never should have been passed in the first place.

    There are some other views on why crime is falling at the link below.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/econo...st-explains-16
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 03-21-2015 at 01:25 AM.

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    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Just a personal thought on the Brennan paper:

    Studies like the one cited by david confirm it once again: the considerable degree of autonomy of the states, united within a large and wealthy entity called the USA makes for some great studies and neat use of statistics. Lots of different experiments are thus going on at a considerable scale during the same timescale, giving a great deal of valuable data to many a scientist.
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Chicago is out of control?

    Thanks to a "lurker" I found these charts on the mismatch between public perceptions and recorded crime:https://www.visualcapitalist.com/cri...erception-gap/

    This then prompted another "lurker" to respond:
    Crime rates continue to drop. The exceptions are cities such as Chicago and Baltimore where crime is increasing and spreading. Chicago is out of control.
    Another responded:
    Today, in America… That perception and belief is driven primarily by what is “right outside one‘s front door” as well as conveyed to them by what others say… Most especially media and politicians. Yes, UCR Part I statistics are definitely showing reduction… In all categories… Some exception to homicide and violent crime depending on the neighborhood, City, culture, month, quarter or year. But what damn difference do statistics make when a person‘s perception drives their belief.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-08-2019 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Edited to suit this thread from Chicago thread. 61,732v today.
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    Default Oakland has an answer

    From a 'long read' and quite a surprise to me "over here"; sub-titled:
    Despite years of tough policing, Oakland couldn’t get a handle on gun crime. Was the solution a community-based approach?
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ce-prevention?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-16-2019 at 05:01 PM. Reason: 62,399v today
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Via Twitter after a Twitter spat over the London murder rate. The graphic fails to display, so please use the link.
    Link:https://www.businessinsider.com/dona...19-6?r=US&IR=T
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-17-2019 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Text due to graphic failing to display
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