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Crime trends and political noise in NYC
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s potential presence in the municipal elections via ex-aide Joe Lhota’s candidacy promises to add the predictable warning that New Yorkers must worry about crime rising whichever Democrat wins.
Meanwhile Mayor Michael Bloomberg, gone by the end of the year, has been crowing about the drop in crime stats since he took office and the new lows in homicides that have been reached.
While Bloomberg and his immediate predecessor may keep up appearances, the two are far from crazy about each other, which is only one reason that each will credit his own administration for police successes as much as is credibly possible.
Problem with this localized crime posturing is that the trend tends to be national.
This was the top of a Christian Science Monitor story six months ago:
Often depicted as one of the more violent countries in the world, the United States has almost never been a safer place to live.
The FBI on Monday reported that violent crime dropped in the U.S. for the fifth straight year, this time by 4 percent, a trend that has defied some criminologists’ thinking about the link between personal and property crimes in tough economic times.
According to the FBI, which culls from information volunteered by some 14,000 law enforcement jurisdictions from Oahu to Key West, violent crimes dropped in all four major U.S. regions: 4.7 percent in the West, 4.9 percent in the Midwest (a region where the murder rate actually rose slightly), 4.5 percent in the South and 0.8 percent in the Northeast. The national murder rate dropped by 1.9 percent.
In the property crimes categories, car thefts and larceny thefts decreased nationally, but burglaries ticked up slightly in all regions except the South, the FBI reported.