When reading the latest FBI crime stats, the devil is truly in the details

"Those kinds of things don't happen here" should no longer be part of the rural mindset.

By Jim Shepherd

I miss America.


If you ask me what I miss most, I'll probably tell you I miss youth. But it's not the youth that I miss, it's the attitude that existed when I was younger.

Growing up in the middle of the past century - at the end of the last millennium (gosh, I do feel old now), it was perfectly acceptable to leave your doors unlocked, the keys in your ignition, and your mower in your front yard.

Today, police don't even leave their cruisers unlocked when they get out to work a traffic accident. Times have changed - drastically.

But the 2008 crime statistics released by the FBI have put a somewhat more rosy face on what is really not a great situation. Crime is down in big cities, but it's up in small towns.

On the surface, it might look like the urban governments are getting things under control. Actually, that's the furthest thing from the truth. Fact of the matter, urban crime has spread to small town America because the cities are basically not worth the trouble anymore. Anyone with the means to leave many of the most dangerous areas already has left.

Predators, like hunters, follow the prey. With the urban exodus, the problems creep into small towns like crabgrass into a bermuda lawn. One day it looks good, then it's infested.

If you live in a city with a population of more than one million people, you saw murders drop by 4.3 percent. Cities from 500,000 to one million saw an eight percent drop. On the surface, that's pretty good news.

Unless you live in a town with fewer than 10,000 residents. There, murders jumped 5.5 percent, rape was up 1.4 percent, and robberies were 3.4 percent more likely.

Nationwide, all violent crime actually seemed to have dropped. Most appropriate, maybe, the precipitous drop in car thefts. A thirteen percent drop in car thefts proves what consumers have suspected for some time. There's no market for used cars - even hot ones.

The western region of the country did best in the declines, and the northeast actually had the only rise in crime, 1.6 percent.

No further inferences or wise cracks about crime seem appropriate in a time when many Americans feel they're experiencing a hijacking of the country. But you can check out the FBI's crime statistics preliminary stats at this address:


Republished from The Outdoor Wire.

Additional Information:
Violent crimes down in Columbus

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