Op-Ed: The Crime-Statistics Con Job

By John R. Lott Jr.

It is a remarkable con job.

Over the last six months, the Police Executive Research Forum, the chief executives of primarily large police departments, has gotten the media concerned that the country is threatened by a sudden upsurge in violent crime and murder. A New York Times story on March 9th started the current round of hysteria with the headline that “Violent Crime in Cities Show Sharp Surge.”

An earlier front page story in January in USA Today caused a similar ruckus.

One wonders whether the reporters ever thought of getting a critical comment for their story.

The Police Executive Research Forum report sounded the alarm: “The FBI statistics reflect the largest single year percent increase in violent crime in 14 years.”

It becomes a lot less scary when one realizes that the violent crime rate fell for 13 straight years, a total drop of 39 percent, before increasing in 2005 by less than 1 percent.

Click here to read the entire commentary at FOXNews.com.

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