Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The US Didn't Have A Spike in Violent Crime in 2016

A handful of neighborhoods in the US did.  A mere five neighborhoods in Chicago supplied one third of the increase in violent crime in 2016
Murders in the U.S. rose nearly 9% last year, and one-third of that increase came from just a few neighborhoods in Chicago, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis [paywall warning] of the FBI’s annual 2016 publication, Crime in the United States.

While violent crime (homicide, rape, assault, and robbery) also rose nationwide from 2015 to 2016 — over 4% — the data show the increase was not uniform, but rather concentrated in cities like Chicago and Baltimore.

Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., meanwhile, saw “meaningful declines in violence [that] have been sustained since the 1990s.”
This means the US doesn't have a violent crime problem.  We have a violent zip code problem. 

This, of course, is hardly news.  Anyone watching the country knows that the worst of criminality falls in a handful of places, typically poor neighborhoods in big cities, and the root of the problem is gang violence and turf wars.  John Lott published a study in 2016 using 2014 crime statistics finding that murder in the US is very concentrated by location.
In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54% of counties (with 11% of the population) have no murders.  69% of counties have no more than one murder, and about 20% of the population. These counties account for only 4% of all murders in the country.

The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders. As shown in figure 2, over half of murders occurred in only 2% of counties.
Murder has gotten more concentrated in fewer places.  John Lott again:
Murders actually used to be even more concentrated. From 1977 to 2000, on average 73 percent of counties in any give year had zero murders.
Criminologist David Weisburg of George Mason University criminologist, released a study in 2015 that described what he called the “law of crime concentration,” and “the criminality of place”: a disproportionate amount of any city’s violent crime occurs in a small geographic area of the city.  His data showed:
Weisburg found that in large cities, 50% of crime occurs on just 4% to 6% of a city’s streets, while 0.8% to 1.6% of streets produce one-quarter of all crime.
In many concealed carry classes you're dutifully told there's no such thing as a bad neighborhood that you can avoid to have no risk of violent attack.  While I agree with the sentiment that you should always be aware of your surroundings and that lightning can strike in odd places, these statistics show that statement is just wrong.  There are bad neighborhoods, and your chances of being involved in a violent crime are much worse in some places.  If you don't have to go there, don't go.  

Complicating Weisburg and Lott's findings is the side effect of protests against police that have police vowing to have a lighter presence in the areas that need them the most.
A Pew Research Center poll from January 2017 showed that an overwhelming number of police officers say widespread protests following high-profile killings of black suspects have made police less willing to conduct basic police work, such as stopping and questioning suspicious people in high-crime neighborhoods, and using an appropriate level of force to diffuse a situation.

In Baltimore, violent crime rates were going down until 2015, when police officers “pulled back from a more proactive approach” following widespread city riots after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a severe spinal injury while being transported in a police van on April 1, 2015, and died one week later.
Violence in Baltimore has stayed historically high following the riots, with arrests plummeting, shootings soaring, and the police force itself getting smaller.
One thing that has been proven to reduce crime rates is more proactive policing.   Yet the "Ferguson Effect" has caused an increasing reluctance of police to go into those neighborhoods, and more reluctant to carry out everyday tasks of policing.  You might have noticed that the left is currently lobbying for all of the things that make the murder rate worse, as in this gem posted at Gun Free Zone
(Daily Wire photo)

Remember: it's not gun control we need.  It's zip code control. 


  1. Bear in mind, those conclusions are only as good as the data.
    Murder is the least fudgeable, because bodies are hard to hide, but when the police under-report crime to make things look rosy (call your local college security office to see how this has played out daily for the last 50 years) then the "crime isn't rising" story is like telling the guys in the engine room the boat isn't sinking, and they should ignore the water around their knees and their own lying eyes.

    This is the same reason Border Patrol arrests run to 100%, because if they didn't catch it, they didn't see it cross.
    {cf: Vietnam War, NVA/VC body count}

    1. Bear in mind, those conclusions are only as good as the data.

      Always and forever. In everything you ever see anywhere.

      Data is sacrosanct. One does not "adjust" or change the raw data. That's what I hate the most about the climate alarmists.

  2. There is a much more obvious and much more significant factor in these crimes and violent crimes in general. Typically we don't talk about it except in vague ways for fear of being called a bigot. This unmentionable fact is also hidden and under reported by the police, the MSM and politicians. Ironically those same people will rush to the microphones and cameras to say their favorite words "white nationalists".

    You cannot fix a problem unless you can correctly define it. You can fix the symptoms, you can ignore it, you can make believe it does not exist but you can't fix it. We do not have the guts to define what this problem is so it will continue and it willl get worse. So sad...

    1. I'm brave enough to state the problem clearly and unambiguously!
      The problem is Asians (South, East, take your pick) in such zip codes selling food, booze, and cigarettes from behind plexiglass partitions. This dehumanizes the customers. Even persons of extraordinary wisdom, humanity, self-restraint, intelligence (hey, I know this from watching TV and movies) will not be unaffected by such venomous hatred and cruelty, such disrespect. Shame on those exploitative, carpetbagging, discriminatory Asians. "Props" to Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass for calling this out.

    2. Mike_C, I love you, man.

      You win the Internets for the day.

    3. I'll name the problem. The problem is voters, who refuse to prosecute and jail murderers in those locations as eagerly as they do when white nationalists murder.

      Voters following the same policies produced soccer yobs in England, where similar enforcement patterns has created a thug class who lives in government housing on welfare. A class who doesn't have the characteristics you are claiming cause the problem. The problem is socialism.

    4. There was also a blog that noted that a couple of months back, Philly began testing the inclusion of bullet-resistant glass on their police cruisers, the absolute high note of hypocrisy.

      I'ma go out on a limb, and notice no one's called out the Philly Council itself for their disrespect in using metal detectors on visitors to their august body on meeting days. Raaaaayciiiiissssssssssss!!!!

    5. Philly began testing the inclusion of bullet-resistant glass on their police cruisers

      To keep the bullets in? Maybe that would have saved that innocent Australian woman who called the police, then got shot by a passenger-side Somali diversity hire cop reaching across the driver.

  3. Oh, I think that Anonymous and the, “To keep the bullets in?” comment has won the internets for the day. That’s just fantastic :-)

  4. That was Minneapolis, not Philly.