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Crime Graph



The Rochester Police Department chart above shows the number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents going back to 1985. These include murder, rape, robbery and assault.

The early 1990s were the high point for violence. This was true across the country. Scholars have attributed lower crime since then to crack’s decline, more young men in prison, more police on the streets, legalized abortion and even less lead paint.

There’s no question Rochester continues to have issues with crime, particularly in certain neighborhoods. But it’s not worse than ever, thus the chart’s title “Perception v. Reality.”

Correction: Part I crimes also included burglary, larceny, arson and car thefts. This doesn’t change the premise that the community is safer.

Links of the Day:

– The state wants to make it much harder to plea down speeding ticketsand you’d still have to pay.

Scotch & Sirloin has closed.

– This is so cute. Little libraries are popping up in Buffalo.

This is what a lake effect storm looks like.

– If cities had fewer cars, would more money stay in the local economy?


8 Responses to Rochester is Safer, in One Graph

  1. Abortion is a reason for less violence?? How does that work?

  2. In regards to the decline in crime, there have been multiple independent studies confirming a direct connection between the use of leaded gasoline and crime rates – essentially, whenever leaded gas was banned, crime dropped significantly 23 years later, across every country and social group, as the kids born after the bans grew up without the associated brain damage. Which basically ends up telling us that the “tough-on-crime” policies of the mid/late 90’s didn’t actually do anything, since countries that didn’t implement them had almost exactly the same drops in crime. A decent summary is at http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

  3. January 23, 2013 at 8:49 am ikejames responds:

    Hey Rick- Here’s a link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legalized_abortion_and_crime_effect

    This study is controversial. The Donohue and Levitt (Levitt of Freakonomics fame) still is a source of some debate in the data analytics community.

    Now, what I’d really love to see concerning the data about is a map of crime over time in relation to the city. Specifically, has the crime rate dropped city wide, or has crime outside of the Crescent decreased while crime within the Crescent stayed relatively the same?

    I remember about 5 years ago, one of the local news stations did a special on teen pregnancy in Rochester. One of the interesting things I saw were overlay maps that basically plotted crime, teen pregnancy, school drop out rate, and other negative factors right over the triangle. I’d love to find either the maps or underlying data in order to play around with it. Specifically to plot city lead abatement efforts with the data over time. I wouldn’t expect to see much impact. I’m sure residents have a tendency to move frequently. Just the same, there may be some interesting observations that lead to better questions.

  4. Didn’t the Ch13 story last night about burglaries (called home invasions in the burbs according to the local press) say there were 3000 in the City? 3000?! That’s 3000 potentially deadly encounters within ones own home. There is no way to look at them differently as the only person who knows how the criminal will react if discovered is said criminal. But we are going to make it harder for these 3000 households to protect themselves from thugs and scum. The citizens of Rochester have a much greater chance of being burgled (invaded) and therefore potentially harmed during said burglary (invasion) than they do of being shot and killed in some massacre, let alone shot by an AR with a ‘high capacity’ magazine. But the people who view all Rights as equal other than the one in the 2nd Amendment can’t see the reality of the situation because they are blinded by BS like ‘crime is actually lower by .0000000000X%’. As I used to say, city council needs to stop asking if the number of fires are up or down a certain percentage and start asking ‘how many fires do we have and how many firefighters do we need to handle that?’ How many robberies, burglaries (home invasions in the Burbs don’t forget), murders, shootings, beatings, rapes, whatever else the general public considerers violent crime are there and how many cops do we need to handle that. And the citizens need to ask ‘how am I to do what I need to do to protect myself and my family’ be it move, arm themselves, form a community watch group, ‘Start Snitchen’, whatever. All of the feel good crap in the world isn’t going to help you when a guy is climbing through your window at 3am.

  5. Part 1 crime includes all UCR part 1 crime, not violent crime only as you stated above.

    “The Rochester Police Department chart above shows the number of violent crimes per 100,000 residents going back to 1985.”

  6. Pingback: Crime Over Time » The Rochesterian

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