A new study released Tuesday by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that homicide is a localized crime. “I just think most people have a real misunderstanding about how heavily concentrated murders are,” said John R. Lott Jr., an author of the study. “You have over half the murders in the United States taking place in 2 percent of the counties.”
They found that a majority of U.S. counties did not experience even one homicide in 2014.
“About 70 percent of the counties, accounting for 20 percent of the U.S. population, had no more than one murder in 2014, with 54 percent of counties experiencing zero murders,” according to the data.
“Five percent of the counties, which made up nearly half the population, accounted for more than two-thirds of murders in the country, with the highest numbers concentrated in areas around major cities like Chicago and Baltimore.”
Factors like poverty and human activity are also concentrated, pointed out David Weisburd, director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University. However, even within cities there was an obvious difference. For instance, Los Angeles County saw a high number of homicides in 2014, but the northwestern part of the county had no murders, according to data.
Even in Washington, D.C., known as a murder capitol as well as our country’s capitol, has really safe neighborhoods. The study identified the area around the U.S. Capitol as being “extremely safe,” while 105 murders took place in the eastern part of the city.
Weisburd noted that in his experience studying large cities, such as New York, Tel Aviv, Cincinnati, and Sacramento, approximately “1 percent of the streets produce 25 percent of the crime and about 5 percent of the streets produce 50 percent of the crime.”
There were no murders in rural and suburban counties where a lot of people own guns.
“The places where we see the murders tend to be those area[s], the urban areas, and even tiny areas within those areas, where legal gun ownership is itself relatively rare,” noted Lott.
Baltimore, Chicago and Houston, which accounted for about half of the increases in homicides in major cities between 2014 and 2016, were identified as the most dangerous cities, and Baltimore and Washington, D.C., aren’t far behind, although their murder rates have reportedly gone down in 2016.
There is no evidence of a national crime wave, according to Ames Grawert, also an author of the report.
H/T: Washington Times
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