World » Americas
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Crime and violence USA

Some statistics suggest that crime rates in the United States have declined in most areas. However, this reduction in crime rates is primarily the result of the exponential increases in private sector defense industries which have expanded in response to high rates of crime in order to provide defense weaponry, alarm and security systems and private police and security services. US citizens are battening down the hatches with burglar bars, home alarm systems and video security systems, while equipping themselves with pepper sprays, stun guns and even handguns in the home. US citizens’ homes and vehicles are being turned into fortresses, many of them armed fortresses.

Over half of the increase in the State prison population in the US since 1995 is due to an increase in the prisoners convicted of violent offenses.

However, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report:

-The violent crime rate increased 1.3% from 2004 to 2005. From 1996 to 2005 the rate fell 26.3%.

-The property crime rate decreased 2.4% from 2004 to 2005. From 1996 to 2005, the rate fell 22.9%.


-The FBI's Uniform Crime Reports Program (UCR) collects information from local law enforcement agencies about crimes reported to police. The UCR crime index includes seven offenses; homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.

Murders

Murder, that darkest of American pastimes, continues unabated. In the six years since Sept. 11th, nearly 100,000 Americans have been murdered in the United States. Both multiple victim homicides and multiple offender homicides are increasing in number. Homicides and crimes were very high when Reagan was elected, then fell off in the mid-eighties. They rose again under Bush and decreased dramatically from 1992-2000 and remained flat through 2005. More than half of all murder victims in large cities are young black males - who are killed by other young black males. Most have had previous trouble with the law. These findings were reported in a recent study done by the U.S. government .

Rapes

Rape is a serious problem in the United States today. The United States has the highest rape rate among countries which report such statistics. It is 4 times higher than that of Germany, 13 times higher than that of England and 20 times higher than that of Japan. The Justice Department says that 8 percent of all American women will be victims of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. The radical feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon, however, claims that "by conservative definition [rape] happens to almost half of all women at least once in their lives."

Robberies/Home Invasions/Carjackings

Home invasion robberies, which involve either using force or a ruse to enter someone’s home, are common in the drug trade because the robbers can be confident that the victims will be hesitant to call the police. Police also note that gangs oftentimes target the wrong home, robbing people who had nothing to do with the drug trade.

The elderly are also frequent targets of such crimes. Overall, home invasion robberies can be traumatizing and can easily and quickly escalate into violence. Ruses sometimes used by robbers might involve a robber knocking on the door and claiming to be a building inspector or a delivery person. The elderly can be particularly vulnerable to these ruses. Some home invasions occur after a victim is followed to their home by a stranger. Police found that many residence doors do not have functioning peepholes and that leads to many of the crimes where the victims open their door to anyone who might come knocking, particularly after dark. Robbers sometimes even claim to be police in order to get people to open their doors.

Nationwide statistics released by the FBI show that while robberies have been decreasing overall, robberies occurring at a residence have increased every year from 1999 through 2003, the most recent year statistics are available. By 2003, residence robberies had increased by 18 percent from 1999. Most robberies in the United States still happen on the street, but about 14 percent of all robberies took place at a residence in 2003.

Carjacking is the taking of a motor vehicle in the possession of another by means of force or fear of bodily harm. The crimes can take place at any time, but most often take place at night, and are overwhelmingly committed by young males. Top spots for carjacking include intersections and the parking lots at malls, apartments, businesses and schools. Police sources warn drivers to be wary of strangers approaching with fliers or asking for directions, or using other pretexts to get close to a vehicle. The typical carjacker is more likely to brandish a weapon and attempt to force the driver out of their car than to try to trick the driver into exiting of their own accord.

It is every human being’s right to live in a society free from the fear of becoming a victim of violent crime. Contemporary American society is a very tragic and violent place that has experienced a severe deterioration of that society and its values. Colonial ambitions and international lawlessness are bound to take their toll at home.

Lisa KARPOVA

PRAVDA.Ru

USA/CANADA

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