Crime Trend Reversal Fbi Data Shows Sharp Decrease in US Homicides

Crime Trend Reversal: FBI Data Shows Sharp Decrease in US Homicides

According to criminal research, homicides in major US cities are likely declining at “one of the fastest rates of decline ever recorded”.

Jeff Asher of AH Datalytics, a New Orleans-based data-analytics firm specializing in criminal justice, education, and the non-profit sector, spoke with the Wall Street Journal on Monday after reviewing quarterly data just provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). “There’s just a ton of places that you can point to that are showing widespread, very positive trends,” Asher told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Murder decreased by 20.8% in the company’s sample of over 200 cities with diverse population sizes from January to the end of March this year as compared to the same period in 2023, according to Asher in a recent Substack post on the issue.

Furthermore, murder rates have dropped by more than 30% in several major cities, including Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, and Philadelphia.

Asher’s company’s study is based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, which collects data from local law enforcement agencies nationwide. Because participation in the program is voluntary, not all crimes are recorded, and experts warn that the image is not full.

Additionally, FBI data from 2023 will not be audited or made official until about October. And the data for 2024 will not be reviewed and made official until about October 2025. Nonetheless, the preliminary numbers are particularly encouraging for the United States because they indicate that murder had already “plummeted” in 2023, “at one of the fastest declines ever recorded,” according to Asher in a Substack post late last year.

According to updated preliminary data, those figures are declining again this year, but at a faster rate, paving the way for a return to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic, when violent crime in the United States increased dramatically.

The early available records also reflect a decrease in homicides observed in the 1990s. “Nationally, the scenario is pretty similar to what you witnessed in the mid-to-late 1990s. But it might be substantially higher in terms of percentages and quantities of drops,” Asher explained.

Asher has made it clear that even a significant decrease in killings still results in “hundreds or thousands of tragedies” for families across the United States. However, he has stated that the data offers “as encouraging” a picture as possible given the gloomy reality.

It is not only murder rates that have decreased.

Except for motor vehicle theft, Asher stated that all crimes, including violent crimes (murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) and property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), were “significantly lower” in 2023 than in 2022.

At the end of 2023, Asher wrote: “Americans tend to believe that crime is increasing, yet the evidence we have right now suggests significant decreases this year (even if there are always exceptions). The quarterly data in particular reveals that 2023 had one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the United States in more than 50 years.

Crime has become a major element in Republican campaign rhetoric in recent years. Earlier this year, Donald Trump claimed without evidence that undocumented immigrants were causing a spike in violent crime. “In New York, crime is skyrocketing. And it’s called migrants,” the former president and presumed Republican nominee for 2024 stated during a February rally in Michigan.

According to a 2024 Pew poll, “a majority of Americans (57%) [believe] the large number of migrants seeking to enter the country leads to more crime”. However, national data fails to corroborate Trump’s claim or the public’s tenacious belief that crime is always on the rise.

Asher added, “Tell your friends and relatives since they are likely to believe that crime is on the rise nationwide. And in this situation, they’re virtually certainly incorrect.”

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