Historical Perspective: Phase 1

November 21, 2011

Crime Statistics

Crime statistics today provide a relevant collection of the crimes taking place in our country.  The statistics reflect on a certain demographic area that is decided on by specific procedures attained by America’s homeland security.  These statistics allow us as citizens the right to prudent information in our place we call home.  Is our dwelling safe? How many murders/homicides are there? What is the theft rate, “criminal homicide, forcible rape, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, larceny and motor vehicle theft?”(Territo, Hallsted, and Bromley, 2004) .  Unfortunately, however heinous the crime, statistics do not go into detail and report “high profitable” crimes or “work place crimes”(Territo, Hallsted, and Bromley, 2004) .

Measuring Systems

There are two ways that crimes are reported and measured in the United States, through the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).  These two organizations work together to give the most accurate measure of crime. The UCR is a report taken by police, these are crimes that are committed and actually reported to the police.  These crimes are in turn reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), from here the reports are published for public access.  However, because many crimes go unreported and uninvestigated the NCVS was organized for an exact and more accurate account of crimes committed.  This organization is more precise; because many people who are involved with crimes or victims of crimes are in situations which do not allow them to report directly to police.  So this survey was designed as an anonymous data collection service, which is very useful in reporting the true crime delinquency.  Though both measuring systems are not 100% complete in crime reports they are both very close to accurate and definite information (O’Brien, 1983).

Public Perception

The perception of crime on the public has changed drastically and dramatically over time in America.  Just over the past couple decades a rise in precaution and safety has risen to an abnormal high.  The more ‘unexpected crimes’ have taken a drastic leap to reoccurring heights, crimes such as “murder, assault, and forcible rape”.  These crimes have reached new demographics as well and dejectedly more public of places.  This in turn has caused more media coverage than ever before, which has now instilled fear in many Americans.  The media plays a very significant role in the perception of the public today.  Americans cannot turn on the T.V. without a considerable amount of crime reports (Territo, Hallsted, and Bromley, 2004) .

Another effect on the public’s perception is the rise in the” middle aged population”.  Because crime has heightened, these groups of young people have defined themselves as defenders and do not back down to such actions.  They are more likely to have a form of defense or security handy at all times to protect them from the rising crime, thus attracting more crime.  This has made crime an even bigger concern (Territo, Hallsted, and Bromley, 2004) .

Future Predictions

The rising crime in America has only brought this country into greater and harsher measures for criminals and subsequently innocent bystanders.  So the more changes that take place to insure and secure the safety for citizens, is only going to get more exclusive and restricted.  Criminals will continue to evolve with greater and more drastic measures, so it will only be protocol to heighten America’s security.  In turn with the heightened security and procedures, criminals will lash out in anger making their actions more extreme and radical thus turning this saga into a game.  This, until America’s ‘security and defense’ overpowers and places crime under control.  Which will possibly in turn create a new America.  Subsequently, this country will no longer be the land of the free but a land in which the government dictates rights to its citizens; for peace (Ritter, 2006).


References

O’Brien, Robert M., (1983). Measures of Crime. American Sociological Association.  Retrieved from http://SociologyIndex.com

Ritter, Nancy M., (2006). Preparing for the Future: Criminal Justice in 2040.  National Institution of Justice.  Retrieved from http://www.nij.gov/journals/255/2040.html

Territo, L., Halsted, J.B., and Bromley, M.L.  (2004).  Crime and Justice in America: A Human Perspective, Sixth edition.  Chapter 1.

–Quote Author Unknown and Major: MS Criminal Justice 

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