June 21, 2024

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Covid Becomes an Excuse for Crime

1 min read

There’s more to the FBI’s newly released Crime in the Nation Statistics than headlines would have you believe. The story from many outlets is that violent crime is no longer an issue—it surged with the onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020 and has since declined. Violent crime nationally fell 1.3% in 2022, putting the year’s rate on a similar footing as 2019’s. But a glance at the top-line FBI numbers indicates that more is going on. Murders decreased 6% compared with 2021, and aggravated assault decreased 1.5%. But carjackings rose more than 8%, and robberies increased 1.3%.

Part of the problem with most media analysis is that 2019 didn’t represent a historical baseline of homicide and violent crime rates in America—2014 did. Nationally, violent crime and murder were much more prevalent in 2019 than in 2014. So though U.S. rates have fallen back to pre-pandemic levels, the country is well above normal violent-crime rates. Total violent crime in 2022 was 5% higher than in 2014, an increase that represents tens of thousands of additional victims in a single year. The national homicide rate in 2022 was 43% higher than in 2014. Since 2015, there have been roughly 30,000 more murders in the U.S. than there would have been if the homicide rate had stayed at the 2014 low.

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2023-11-07 17:32:00

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