Crime stats are not always reliable due to reporting variances both by victims who feel that police won’t help and also by police, some of whom, frankly, want to shine their CVs by under-reporting. Nevertheless, the incidence of crime has generally been falling since 1980 and violent crime since about 1970. No explanation offered.
This has occurred in the face an increasing number of human activities that are now deemed criminal. In California, I understand that taxpayers are allowed to do only that which is permitted, but Michigan has not yet deteriorated into such a pretentious muddle. We still are allowed to do anything except what is forbidden but the forbidden continues to expand.
This is not an effect of more or better policing (the broken window dates from 1993, community policing and data driven policing more recently so those have had no discernible effect), nor has the patronizing preaching of the pubic school, universities and media perfected the American soul. The population has aged and that probably reduced the population of young men who are likeliest to break the law. Criminalizing attitudes when committing violent crimes as when we invoke circumstances to upgrade to hate crimes and long prison sentences have not correlated with any diminution of crime.
Law, the good kind that people will respect, grows out of the practices, the beliefs and the day to day lived lives of the people. The crime of theft does not exist in a society where everyone steals. Marriage, as defined by the government becomes a dinosaur where 40% of kids are born outside of wedlock.
In Kentwood, no one wants capricious and violent gangs roaming the streets or parks. Folks who steal or rob stuff, even in the parks department and Justice department are arrested and punished. In Kentwood, violent crime has been stable or falling; there may be an effect from the more aggressive stance at detection by the current chief.
But how many of our taxpayers use marijuana, or gamble on the internet, out of sight, vaguely worried about the knock on the door?
I think that the decriminalization of drugs would have the greatest impact on lowering crime stats. The internet is certainly going to increase private initiative, the so called”permissionless enterprises” like Uber, Airbnb, prostitution and off the books commerce that might verge on the black market and termed criminal, if only the authorities could find them. (The Economist featured a hooker on the front cover and a long article on the liberation of the sex trade some months ago. I saw it as a spoof of the synthetic laws that we have evolved, but….)
Probably we could lessen our expenses in police “protection”and eliminate non-violent and non-fraudulent acts like drug abuse, gambling, prostitution and the like from the criminal prohibitions without effecting the public safety.