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Thread: America’s safer streets: why is elusive

  1. #41
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    I cannot confirm this is legit, but it#s certainly interesting if it is:

    http://www.good.is/posts/black-and-a...es-of-drug-use

    A study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatry says that black and Asian teens are less likely to use drugs and alcohol than white people their age. In a survey of more than 72,000 young people conducted by Dan Blazer, a psychiatry professor at Duke Medical Center, 39 percent of white teens and 37 percent of Latinos reported having abused substances in the past year, compared to 32 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Asians. When it came to drugs alone, 20 percent of whites, 19 percent of blacks, and 12 percent of Asians reported using.
    coupled with

    Juvenile Arrest Rate Trends
    Drug abuse violation arrest rates were equal for white juveniles and black juveniles in 1980.
    Juvenile Arrest Rates for Drug Abuse Violations by Race, 1980-2009


    makes the whole war on drugs look more like a race war that replaced segregation nation-wide than like actual policing.

  2. #42
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I cannot confirm this is legit
    The journal is published by the AMA and is considered perhaps the flagship U.S. psychiatric journal. That does not necessarily, of course, insure lack of issues in research design, the usual problems inherent in the peer review process, or lack of intellectual integrity on the part of the authors, but I would say it qualifies the article as legit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    [M]akes the whole war on drugs look more like a race war that replaced segregation nation-wide than like actual policing.
    False dichotomy!

    I have not read the article, but I do wonder how the numbers breakdown by locale. For example, does anyone know if drug-related arrests take place at a higher rate in urban vs. rural areas?
    Last edited by ganulv; 11-06-2012 at 07:56 PM. Reason: typo fix
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  3. #43
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    False dichotomy!
    Add a "to me" at the end and it'll be impervious to such criticism.

  4. #44
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Prison Population Can Shrink When Police Crowd Streets

    A catchy title from the NYT (thanks to a Twitter alert). Which opens with:
    Now that the United States has the world’s highest reported rate of incarceration, many criminologists are contemplating another strategy. What if America reverted to the penal policies of the 1980s? What if the prison population shrank drastically? What if money now spent guarding cellblocks was instead used for policing the streets?

    In short, what would happen if the rest of the country followed New York City’s example?
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/ny...pagewanted=all

    Lots of links to explore.

    Personally I wonder if crime and the better criminals have realised street crime is just too dangerous and not so profitable - fraud & forgery for example are generally safer for the criminal. Secondly, by jailing fewer NYC has reduced the educational impact of being in jail.
    davidbfpo

  5. #45
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    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknap...rime-epidemic/

    How Lead Caused America's Violent Crime Epidemic

    All of it points to one simple idea: violent crime rose as a result of lead poisoning because of leaded gasoline. It declined because of lead abatement policies.

    There are three basic reasons why this theory should be believed.
    Identified in the article

    This quote is relevant to the Effects Based Operations crowd and their faith in measuring observables:

    In particular, it’s important because this is precisely the kind of problem that people are uncomfortable about believing. It’s hard for us to see the link between cause and effect when there’s a 20+ year gap between one and the other. Additionally, none of us like thinking that our autonomy as human beings can be destroyed by forces beyond our control that we can’t even see.

    But such time lags between cause and effect do exist.
    Lot of interesting links at the article below. The article that kicked this off was in Mother Earth News

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-dru...crime-linkfest

    Lead and Crime: A Linkfest

    Baselines vs. crime waves. Lots of things contribute to baseline levels of crime. But lead is uniquely able to explain why there was such a huge rise of crime above the baseline during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, followed by an equally huge reduction back to the baseline in the 90s and aughts.

    Big cities vs. small cities. Surprisingly, it turns out that once you reduce exposure to gasoline lead, big cities aren't really all that much more dangerous than small ones after all
    .

  6. #46
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknap...rime-epidemic/

    How Lead Caused America's Violent Crime Epidemic
    Interesting! But I do wonder if the author has shown that the drop is basically unicausal as opposed to being due to policy changes of which the phasing out of leaded gasoline was but a part? My grasp of statistical methods is too poor to evaluate the findings at that level.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  7. #47
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Lead poisoning was quite widespread after the early canned food appeared.

    A possible test to see if the correlation may point at a causality would be to look up if there was a crime wave 20+ years after introduction of canned food.
    More specifically, crime amongst sailors (who ate much canned food AFAIK) should be well-documented (Royal Navy archives go back centuries in amazing detail).

  8. #48
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    Interesting observation on the canned food. From a futures perspective I wonder if we'll an upward trend in China and other developing nations that have a growing pollution problem (assuming lead is part of that equation)?

  9. #49
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default New thread alert

    The exchange on lead in petrol, tins etc made me think of a new thread 'What's lead got to do with it?'

    Fuchs - don't worry a new thread is not coming.
    davidbfpo

  10. #50
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Criminal justice reform: a revolution on the American right

    A different way of looking at criminal justice and more in the USA, a left-leaning UK think tank has published a short paper to impact policies in the UK. It has some amazing statistics and quotes. This one is a stunner, even if the question "Are you on parole or probation?" features in some of our TV diet of US cops shows here:
    The overcriminalisation of America has exacted a stunning toll: when you add those who are on probation or parole to the total number of prisoners, one of every 32 adults is under government control. That is a startlingly large swathe of our population to place in the hands of the government.
    Link:http://www.ippr.org/images/media/fil...2013_10616.pdf
    davidbfpo

  11. #51
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    I think our legal system is trending downwards, especially when we detain people for using drugs and have privatized prisons. Selling drugs and the associated violence is a crime, but using drugs is just stupid, and we confuse being stupid with being a criminal and stress our justice system by doing so. For profit prisons equate to a profit incentive to keep people in jail that gains political power over time when those companies that run these prisons gain greater lobbying power with Congress.

    However, all that said I think the rate of violent crime based on percentage of the population is higher in both Australia and England than the U.S.? We have a serious and growing problem with gangs, and while arresting and detaining these gang members may by us time, ultimately we have to find a better way to effective intervene and reduce this threat to civil safety. More prisons would indicate to me that we're failing on a deeper level.

  12. #52
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Cellphone Thefts Grow, but the Industry Looks the Other Way

    A NYT article, with some surprising figures cited, having worked in an urban area plagued over ten years ago with street robberies for cellphones it tells a familiar story:
    In San Francisco last year, nearly half of all robberies involved a cellphone, up from 36 percent the year before; in Washington, cellphones were taken in 42 percent of robberies, a record. In New York, theft of iPhones and iPads last year accounted for 14 percent of all crimes.

    Some compare the epidemic of phone theft to car theft, which was a rampant problem more than a decade ago until auto manufacturers improved antitheft technology.
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/te...pagewanted=all

    Our experience with the manufacturers action to improve security may not end the problem, rather shift it and sometimes with a higher level of violence to the victim - "home invasions" for the keys for performance cars for example.
    davidbfpo

  13. #53
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A NYT article, with some surprising figures cited, having worked in an urban area plagued over ten years ago with street robberies for cellphones it tells a familiar story:

    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/te...pagewanted=all

    Our experience with the manufacturers action to improve security may not end the problem, rather shift it and sometimes with a higher level of violence to the victim - "home invasions" for the keys for performance cars for example.
    I'm not an expert on street robbery but going for the cell phones seems to be pretty rational as long it is not too difficult to avoid getting tracked down. I mean I hardly have a 100€ in my pocket most of the time and I think this goes for most people. However even little girls seem to play around more often then not with rather expensive smartphones.

    Not quite as good as waving around 200€ in bills but rather attractive for your little street thug. I wonder how many cents on the $ the robber gets for the phone from his buyer.

    Ok, it is on page 2:
    In San Francisco, the resale market for stolen phones is thriving, with a new iPhone netting a thief $400 to $500 in cash, said Edward Santos Jr., a police lieutenant who investigates robberies. The starting price of a new iPhone 5, without a contract, is $650.
    More then I would have guessed, I thought more about 50%. Such a high share does point to a quite smooth running and efficient operation with a lot of demand coming through the black channels.

    “If you look at auto theft, it has really plummeted in this country because technology has advanced so much and the manufacturers recognize the importance of it,” said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit group focused on improving police techniques. “The cellphone industry has for the most part been in denial. For whatever reasons, it has been slow to move.”
    If the black side can pay so much it there have to be rather efficient, likely competing networks behind the scene. If technology can make it much harder for those for just a slight increase in cost it could make a big difference. Getting the incentives right could make that sort of street crime far less attractive.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  14. #54
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Everything you know about crime is wrong

    The actual title of this UK crime story is: 'How Jill Dando's death convinced me everything you know about crime is wrong': NICK ROSS tells the shocking truth about the murder of his friend and the real cause of crime' and the author Nick Ross is a well known, respected TV presenter:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...use-crime.html

    Yes it is about the UK which is different from the USA, but contributes to the debate here.
    davidbfpo

  15. #55
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    The actual title of this UK crime story is: 'How Jill Dando's death convinced me everything you know about crime is wrong': NICK ROSS tells the shocking truth about the murder of his friend and the real cause of crime' and the author Nick Ross is a well known, respected TV presenter:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...use-crime.html

    Yes it is about the UK which is different from the USA, but contributes to the debate here.
    Excellent post David. Will have some comments later.

  16. #56
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Two articles from The Economist, although they duplicate each other, oddly for this magazine:

    The curious case of the fall in crime; Crime is plunging in the rich world. To keep it down, governments should focus on prevention, not punishment:http://www.economist.com/news/leader...prevention-not

    Where have all the burglars gone? The rich world is seeing less and less crime, even in the face of high unemployment and economic stagnation:http://www.economist.com/news/briefi...t-and-economic

    Unusually this one starts by looking at Tallinn, so hopefully Stan R. will chime in with his views.
    davidbfpo

  17. #57
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Crime falls 15% in England and Wales

    That is the BBC's headline, in what is becoming a controversial issue, although with little public engagement:
    Overall crime in England and Wales fell by 15% in 2013, official figures show.

    The Crime Survey for England and Wales reported (calculated after 36k interviews) 7.5 million crimes against households and adults in that year, the lowest level since it began in 1981.

    Separate police figures showed a 2% fall in crime for 2013, with increases in areas such as fraud (25%) as well as a 17% rise in reported sex offences following the Jimmy Savile scandal.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27138921

    This is an excellent review article:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-violence.html

    It ends with a former senior officer's comment:
    To me, in a professional sense, it is dispiriting. The fact that we don’t really know why crime is now going down tells me that in 30 years’ policing, my actions didn’t make quite as much difference as I had hoped. On the other hand, I’m pleased – my children are going to grow up in a society where there is less crime.
    For those who wish to delve deeper on the stats this is good too. It ends with:
    Our data on different crime types is not what it's cracked up to be and most of the current explanations for observed crime trends are variously unevidenced and unconvincing.
    Link:http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/re...olence-decline
    davidbfpo

  18. #58
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Some fresh, harsh air

    It is rare for a senior UK police officer to speak so directly about crime, so plaudits are due to Milwaukee PD's chief in this short news video clip:http://www.attn.com/stories/341/milw...ss-conference?

    The accompanying report gives some context:
    Why are people interested in this video? Flynn shows us an example of a police officer who is deeply concerned with gun violence in his community. He has passion. He does not mince words.
    Coming off the events in Ferguson, where some people believed the police were inconsiderate of the problems in the community, Flynn is a breath of fresh air. What you're seeing also in this video is a man who is stuck between two opposing sides. On one end, Milwaukee's black community feels like police are against them, and some of the protestors in that meeting showed Flynn their dissatisfaction in emotional ways. On the other hand, he commands a police force whose membership is angry with the firing of one of their fellow officers.
    davidbfpo

  19. #59
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The End of Gangs: lessons from LA

    An optimistic review article, which opens with:
    Los Angeles gave America the modern street gang. Groups like the Crips and MS-13 have spread from coast to coast, and even abroad. But on Southern California’s streets they have been vanishing. Has L.A. figured out how to stop the epidemic it set loose on the world?
    Link:http://www.psmag.com/navigation/poli...c-crime-95498/

    I do wonder if the gangs have also changed their ways, less overt activity, but overall good news.
    davidbfpo

  20. #60
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Why We Need Broken Windows Policing

    There is a long history to the theory of 'Broken Windows', let alone their implementation by policing, primarily in New York city by NYPD and the originator, George Keeling and NYPD's Commissioner, Bill Bratton have an article in City Journal - lots of stats are cited:http://www.city-journal.org/2015/25_...-policing.html

    Taster passage:
    The NYPD’s critics object, in particular, to the department’s long-standing practice of maintaining order in public spaces. This practice, widely referred to as Broken Windows or quality-of-life or order-maintenance policing, asserts that, in communities contending with high levels of disruption, maintaining order not only improves the quality of life for residents; it also reduces opportunities for more serious crime.
    davidbfpo

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