The MetroTrends blog has a post about top crime myths. Here are some:
- Myth: crime is getting worse, if not in your neighborhood then certainly in the “bad parts” of town, which are much more dangerous than when you were a kid. Fact: if you are under 40, on average you are safer now than you have ever been.
- Myth: suburbs are safer than cities. Fact: true, on average, but the trend is better for cities than suburbs. At the peak of the crime wave in 1991 there were 138 homicides in Prince George’s County and 479 in Washington, DC. Last year, there were 82 homicides in PG (down 40%) and 132 in DC (down almost 75%).
- Myth: there is an epidemic of children being kidnapped from their homes in the dead of night. Fact: the FBI estimates that in 2008 a total of 155 children were kidnapped by strangers, thus a child is about 5 times more likely to drown than be kidnapped.
The media and government have a lot to do with distorted perceptions of crime. Crime gets ratings and readers for media outlets. It’s self-serving for law enforcement agencies to make the world seem like a scarier place.
Case in point: A Homeland Security video on what to do if you’re caught in a mass shooting. Remember than less than 1 percent of all homicides involve five or more victims!
Links of the Day:
- Downtown Albany bars and restaurants fret about the perception of crime.
- Destiny USA is a destination for Canadians.
- Initial bids for Kodak’s patents came in very low. Kodak needs to raise cash to get out of bankruptcy.
- Common sense prevails. A doctor’s note for sunscreen is no longer needed in schools.
- The New York Times has an excellent graphic of Jenn Suhr’s winning pole vault at the Olympics.