The numbers are out! And they're not pretty.
In 2005 the violent crime rate throughout all of California increased by 3.2%. That might not sound like much, but it's the first time crime has increased since 2001 when there was an increase of 1.7%. Rates have been falling steadily since then.
The report comes from 81 law enforcement agencies statewide that support populations of larger than 100,000. That means all the rapes, murders, assaults and domestic violence cases in the small trailer trash areas dotted throughout California didn't report in.
Which makes me wonder two things. First, what do the numbers look like when we factor in all those dinky little border towns? Second, how does this stack up against prisoner release rates for felony offenders? I can't be sure, but something tells me there's a connection.
Something I find funny is that I'll be attending a discussion tonight hosted by the LA Times and the LA Public Library on "Is This the End of Crime as We Know it?" The premise is this:
Since the late 1970s, urban police departments have watched crime rates fall drastically. But not everyone agrees on why it happened. George Kelling one of the country's foremost experts on crime policy and the co-author of the "broken windows" theory, and Mark A.R. Kleiman, professor of public policy at UCLA, joins Times columnist Erin Aubry Kaplan and editorial writer Robert Greene to explore the competing theories on why crime has dropped as well as to discuss what this means for developing new crime prevention strategies for the 21st century.
I wonder if anyone's going to bring up this tidbit tonight.