Crime waves in our minds and in reality

Radley Balko, a journalist and blogger who covers civil liberties and the criminal justice system, wrote a good post about the difference between the realities of crime in the United States and the way it is perceived.

He focused on the difference between crime in Oklahoma, where the violent crime rate is relative high, but concern is low, and New York, where it is the other way around

Comparing Oklahoma and New York violent crime rates

OK violent crime rate: 458 per 100K
NY violent crime rate: 364 per 100K
OK murder rate: 7.25
NY murder rate: 4.11
% of Oklahomans who say crime is most urgent issue: 5 %
% of New Yorkers: 28 %

Comparison of New York CIty and Oklahoma City

Violent crime:
NYC: 5.8 per 100K
OKC: 7.1 per 100K
Property crime:
NYC: 20.0 per 100K
OKC: 38.1 per 100K
Balko says Oklahoma City has a Republican mayor, and has long had law-and-order DAs


Shootings in New York City

Balko’s conclusion is that the rate of violent crime is often misunderstood by the public and that the causes of violent crime are not well understood by the supposed experts.  Although there has been some increase in violent crime during the past coupe of years, it doesn’t follow a consistent pattern.

So think twice before voting for politicians because they promise to get tough on crime.  They may be exaggerating the problem and they probably don’t know how.


Your guide to crime and the midterms by Radley Balko for The Watch.


One Response to “Crime waves in our minds and in reality”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Pro-gun and anti-gun rights advocate both exaggerate violent crime in an effort to push their divergent narratives.


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