A reporter’s question: How can my small southern city have such a big crime problem? Are we alone or are there others like us?
I just did a program with Nick Johnson’s “Unboxing America” on rising rates of violence in small cities and rural areas. It’s true that smaller cities, suburbs, and even rural areas can have rates of crime that exceed large cities.
Per the Bureau of Justice Statistics funded report below and commercial sites tracking crime rates, see 274WallStreet examining homicides and metro areas, it’s often smaller cities or metro areas taking the lead as to crime rates. See my report on the Most Dangerous Cities for additional comparisons.
As you are aware, rates and numbers need to be used with caution because smaller figures can have a big impact on percentage increases. Violence could go up by 50 percent in one location yet the actual numbers could be very small.
Most people expect the highest homicide rates to come from the biggest cities or metro areas like Baltimore or St. Louis or New York, not Danville, IL or Saginaw, MI or Grants Pass OR; three metro areas in the top five per 274WallStreet.
But it’s the report below funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that’s the real eye-opener.
Why Is This Important?
The reports on locations and crime are interesting because it partially redefines our common assumptions that rural and suburban areas and small cities are safer than big cities.
The purpose of this article is to make sure that the media and politicians-community leaders understand that smaller doesn’t necessarily mean safer when it comes to rates of crime. Your suburb or rural area could have higher rates than large cities.
Improving The National Crime Victimization Survey
Both the FBI (crimes reported to law enforcement) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (an account of reported and unreported crime) analyze their methods of collecting crime data and employ consultants to improve results.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) of the US Department of Justice undertook an analysis of the National Crime Victimization Survey classification of areas as urban, suburban, and rural after the report below was completed.
The report looks at where crime happens. It breaks crime down by the size of urban areas and suburbs and rural areas. It analyzes data from 2010-2015. It’s relevant today because of the huge numbers used and superb research methods. National Crime Victimization Survey numbers tend to be stable over years (with exceptions).
Note that the National Crime Victimization Survey numbers are much larger than crimes reported to law enforcement. Only 40 percent of violent crime is reported per their latest findings.
Some insight; generally speaking, crimes reported to the police are considered serious enough to bring to the attention of authorities. Someone may be hit with a beer bottle by a “friend” during a drunken dispute but it’s not reported because it’s considered a personal matter. But when the National Crime Victimization Survey calls and asks, it’s noted as an unreported aggravated assault.
Yes, it’s more complicated than that, but there is a difference in the data collected by the FBI and the BJS. The National Crime Victimization Survey is considered a more accurate account of “all” crime regardless of its reporting to law enforcement.
The victimization survey doesn’t include homicides because you can’t interview dead people.
It Seems Improbable
I routinely write about crime and fear of crime problems in large cities. That’s because I rely on government reports “and” media accounts and most focus on big cities.
Yes, it seems improbable that a city of 250,000 people in the Midwest could have a higher rate of violence than large cities. Nevertheless, it’s true per the chart below.
Definitions Of Violence
How can rural areas in the Northeast and West have more violence than large cities? It depends on your definition of violence. If you break the data down by serious violence (excluding simple assaults) and stranger violence and weapon use and violence with injury it provides greater clarity as to “dangerousness.” More on this below.
For example, rural areas in the Midwest reported a significantly lower rate of firearm violence than the national average. Rates of violence committed by strangers were significantly lower than the national average in rural areas both in the Midwest and the South. Yet some rural areas have higher overall rates than large cities.
But higher rates of violence do not necessarily mean the area is more “dangerous” when considering weapon use, stranger violence, and injuries.
Summary-National Average Rate Of 21.6 Per 1,000 Persons For Violent Victimizations
Violent victimization rates, which include rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated or simple assault, were significantly higher in small and mid-size urban areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and West than the national average rate of 21.6 per 1,000 persons ages 12 or older.
In small urban areas, rates averaged 30.3 per 1,000 in the Midwest and 29.9 per 1,000 in the Northeast.
In mid-size urban areas, violent victimization rates were 33.0 per 1,000 in the Midwest, 30.4 per 1,000 in the Northeast, and 31.0 per 1,000 in the West.
However, rates in small and mid-size urban areas in the South were not significantly higher than the national average.
A greater percentage of violent crime in mid-size (54.5%) and the large (52.3%) urban area in the Midwest was serious violent victimization, compared to the national average (33.6%).
Rates of violent victimization were significantly lower than the national average in rural areas in the South (15.3 per 1,000) and Midwest (15.7 per 1,000), suburban areas in the South (17.1 per 1,000), and large cities in the Midwest (16.1 per 1,000).
Take a look at the chart below and compare violent crime rates by jurisdiction. Violence in rural areas in the Northeast (19.8) is higher than in Northeast cities of a million or more (17.7). Violence in rural areas of the West (30.9) is higher than in Western cities of a million or more (22.8).
But “serious” violence (excluding simple assaults) is lower in all rural areas. The percentage of serious violent crimes in rural areas is lower than in other locations with some exceptions (i.e., Midwest suburban and small cities).
The highest rates for violence seem to be in medium-sized cities in the Northeast, small and medium-sized cities in the Midwest, and medium-sized cities in the West.
The largest cities of a million or more (the places we read about the most for their crime problems) can have smaller rates of violence with Southern large cities the exception.
Property crimes in rural areas are, generally speaking, lower than most (not all) jurisdictions.
The rate of serious violence, which includes rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault, was highest in mid-size urban areas in the Midwest (18.0 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older), and this rate was significantly greater than for the nation as a whole (7.3 per 1,000).
Serious violence rates also were significantly higher than the national average in midsize cities in the West (12.1 per 1,000) and small urban areas in the Northeast (11.0 per 1,000).
In comparison, rates of serious violent victimization were significantly lower than the national average in rural areas in the South (4.7 per 1,000), suburban areas in the South (5.7 per 1,000), and rural areas of the Northeast (4.9 per 1,000).
Rates of violence involving a weapon and rates of firearm violence were highest in mid-size metropolitan cities in the Midwest, rates of violent victimization involving a weapon were highest in mid-size urban areas in the Midwest (11.9 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older), and this rate was significantly higher than the rate of weapon violence for the nation (4.5 per 1,000).
Other areas with significantly higher rates of weapon violence than the nation as a whole included small urban areas in the Northeast (8.8 per 1,000) and large urban areas in the South (8.6 per 1,000).
The lowest rates of violence involving a weapon (3.0 per 1,000) were found in large urban areas in the Northeast. However, these rates were not significantly lower than the national average.
The national rate of violence involving a firearm was 1.5 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older. Mid-size urban areas in the Midwest (6.1 per 1,000) exhibited significantly higher firearm violence rates than the national average.
Rural areas in the Midwest reported a significantly lower rate of firearm violence (0.7 per 1,000) than the national average.
Violence Resulting In Injury
Rates of violence resulting in injury to the victim were significantly greater than the national average in mid-size urban areas in the Midwest and large urban areas in the South.
The national rate of violence resulting in injury to the victim was 5.4 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older.
Two areas had rates of injurious violence that were significantly higher than the national average: mid-size urban areas in the Midwest (10.0 per 1,000) and large urban areas in the South (7.9 per 1,000).
Large urban areas in the Northeast (3.7 per 1,000) and suburban areas in the South (4.2 per 1,000) had significantly lower rates than the national average.
Violence By Strangers
Rates of violence committed by strangers varied across types of areas more than rates of violence committed by non-strangers. Rates of violence committed by strangers were significantly lower than the national average (8.1 per 1,000 persons ages 12 or older) in rural areas both in the Midwest (4.4 per 1,000) and the South (3.1 per 1,000).
Stranger violence rates were also significantly lower than the national average in suburban areas in the Midwest (5.8 per 1,000) and the South (6.3 per 1,000).
Rates of stranger violence were significantly higher than the national average in numerous urban areas. In the Northeast, the stranger violence rate was highest in mid-size urban areas (14.8 per 1,000), though this rate was not significantly higher than the national average.
In small urban areas in the Northeast, where a greater proportion of persons live, the stranger violence rate was significantly greater (13.6 per 1,000) than the national average.
The stranger violence rate was highest in mid-size urban areas in the Midwest (13.5 per 1,000 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older), and this rate was significantly greater than the national rate.
In the South, the highest rate of stranger violence was found in large urban areas (13.9 per 1,000).
In the West, urban areas of all sizes had significantly greater rates of stranger violence than the national average: 12.1 per 1,000 in smaller urban areas, 15.9 per 1,000 in mid-size urban areas, and 14.0 in cities with the largest populations.
Violent Crimes Reported To Law Enforcement (A Fifteen Percent Difference Based On Where You Live)
A total of 47.1% of all violent crimes in the United States were reported to police (editor’s note-it’s currently 40 percent in 2020).
Levels of violent crime reporting across the 20 different types of areas ranged from a low of 40.2% in mid-size urban areas in the Northeast to a high of 54.6% in Midwest rural areas (editor’s note-this finding could have an impact on FBI numbers).
However, none of the area-reporting rates were significantly different from the national average.
Conclusions From The Report
This report examined victimization across different types of areas in the United States to help further Bureau of Justice Statistics’ efforts to develop subnational estimates of criminal victimization.
Use of this classification revealed that rates of violent and household property victimization varied significantly from the national average in some types of places and that rates of some forms of violence, such as non-stranger violence, varied little across types of places.
For example, in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the country, higher rates of serious violence were found in the small and mid-size cities of metropolitan areas, while in the South and West, higher rates were found in the mid-size and large cities.
Understanding why city size is differentially associated with serious violence across the regions requires further examination of factors such as population composition and other city-level differences. For instance, age and household income are known to be correlates of violent victimization, and higher-rate areas may have proportionately larger populations of young persons and poorer persons than areas with lower rates.
The variation in these rates, however, may also be associated with characteristics of the areas themselves (such as housing and population density, economic and investment activity, and other conditions).
Police chiefs and crime analysis experts will show the National Crime Victimization Survey report (or commercial documents) to their mayors who simply can’t (or won’t) believe that their small city or suburb could have higher rates of crime than larger cities.
But it’s my contention that the size and tactics of law enforcement agencies play a major role as to crime and violence prevention and that big-city police departments have a distinct advantage over smaller locations in terms of personpower, tactics, and technology. Criminals understand the limitations of smaller cities and suburban-rural areas and can take advantage of less enforcement.
NSSF: Finally, we have the proof. Democrats would rather give up America than take up arms.
Halfway around the world, Ukrainians are exhibiting bravery and courage in the face of an invading Russian army.
Meanwhile here in America, the political party that supports disarming and restricting the Second Amendment rights of their country’s law-abiding citizens, and that pushes to defund law enforcement, would turn and flee if their country were invaded.
A majority of self-described Democrats, 52 percent, say they would leave the United States if America were being invaded rather than stay and fight.
Fight or Flight
The new Quinnipiac poll asked voters a hypothetical: Given what is happening in eastern Europe with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “What would you do if you were in the same position as Ukrainians are now: stay and fight or leave the country?”
More than two-thirds of Republican voters, by a margin of 68-25, say they would stay and fight. A healthy majority of Independents would make a stand as well, 57-36. In a sad display, more than half of Democratic voters surveyed, 52-40, said they would flee.
Buoyed by the healthy margins of Republicans and Independents, altogether 55 percent of American voters said they’d fight rather than turn tail and run.
“When confronted with a terrible hypothetical that would put them in the shoes of the Ukrainians, Americans say they would stand and fight rather than seek safety in another country,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
Democratic voters would not only hypothetically take flight, either. They and the gun control groups are – in reality – working to dismantle the Second Amendment and punish the industry that provides for the ability to exercise that right to purchase and possess firearms.
Real Time Refresher
The Founding Fathers preserved the right to keep and bear arms in law for good reason. Russia’s authoritarian leader Vladimir Putin ordered his army to invade neighboring Ukraine, believing taking control over more territory would be an easy task. Ukrainians had other ideas. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emboldened his citizens.
“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country. Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities,” President Zelenskyy tweeted. “Don’t panic. We are strong. We are ready for everything. We will defeat everyone. Because we are Ukraine.”
They’ve valiantly held back advances by Russia and Ukrainian leaders empowered their citizens to take up arms and fight for their country. Other countries have donated and shipped more arms for Ukrainians to use, including the United States.
Civilians who have never held a firearm arm before are quickly receiving training. Oleksandr Krasivskiy, a Ukrainian sales manager, said, “Here we receive more of the tactical training. How to move with the gun. How to operate it in building with the gun. What should we expect when we are in the combat situation. It’s totally new for me. I’ve never done this before and never interested before this whole situation started,” he said.
Women aren’t running either.
“Nine days ago I was teacher of makeup,” added Territorial Army Volunteer Svetlana Kalanova. “There’s no purpose for why they do this. I want to fight also because this is my country, this is my home. Everything is here.”
Operating her firearm has become second nature to her in short time.
Reinforcements On The Way
Much of America believes so strongly in the Second Amendment here at home that they’re helping Ukrainians defend their country with arms and munitions. NASCAR legend Richard Childress, along with AMMO Inc., donated 1 million rounds of 7.62mm ammunition to Ukraine, as did Vista Outdoor’s family of ammunition manufacturers of Remington, CCI, Speer and Federal Ammunition. Adams Arms announced they’re shipping rifles to help the effort. Several other members of the firearm and ammunition industry are assisting too.
“This is a wake-up call for America, and why we have to have our Second Amendment…To see the people in Ukraine fighting — it’s terrible to see the lives that are being lost over there,” Childress told Fox News.
Elections Have Consequences
“That will never happen here,” is a far too common thought. Ukrainians are experiencing it now with the invasion by Russia. Canadians are getting a taste as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergency Powers Act to trample on the rights of Canadians for 30 days and they’re facing a looming mandatory gun confiscation deadline.
The truth is gun control and their allied elected officials scheme every day to extinguish the Second Amendment. When legislative efforts to impose more gun restrictions fail, gun control goes a different route.
Financial service providers, banks and corporate boardrooms are implementing gun control by discriminating against and inhibiting lawful businesses that provide a Constitutionally-protected right to own firearms.
The firearm industry is fighting back on this new angle of attack through state and federal-level financial industry nondiscrimination legislation. However it’s voters who will ultimately tell gun control politicians what to do with their restrictions.
Support by voters for more gun control is the lowest levels in years, while lawful firearm purchases have hit record highs. Americans are seeing in real time just how fragile their rights can be if they aren’t willing to fight for them.
Re-Fund the Police”: Law Enforcement Today launches nationwide campaign for Americans to back the blue
Originally published October 10, 2021
Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – You back the Blue. You support the police. You quietly buy an officer a cup of coffee at your local coffeehouse. You bring homemade cookies to your local police station. You make it a point to thank an officer when you see one out in public.
You watch the news, aghast to see crowds of anti-police protesters and rioters committing acts of violence and massive property damage. You pray daily for the Blue family.
And yet, you may feel quite alone.
Politicians and the mainstream news media would have you think that police support is at an all-time low.
Some of you may have found it necessary to take down your Thin Blue Line flags from your house, or to scrape off the Thin Blue Line sticker from your vehicles, due to the potential for violent retaliation by those who hate the police.
Yes, it is the loudest voices that are the ugliest. They revile and attack those who back the Blue. They call, “Defund the Police!” at every turn, fueled by the lie that police officers are racists who are out to kill.
But you are actually in excellent company in your support of the blue family.
According to a Gallup poll, 85% of Americans support law enforcement. That means supporters of the Thin Blue Line are 285 million strong.
That would be 285 million who, like you, refuse join in the calls to defund the police.
And that means you are in the company of those who have logic and reason on their side.
Homicide rates since defunding are up 58% in Atlanta, up 533% in Portland, and up 37% in Philadelphia.
Shootings in post-defunded New York City are up 64%, and they are up 51% in Los Angeles and up 18% in Chicago.
In addition, you have also followed our disturbing and often tragic stories of attacks on police officers in the era of police defunding.
Felonious attacks on police are on the rise, as documented by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Data Collection.
According to LEOKA:
“The 50 law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the first 8 months of 2021 represent a 51.5 percent increase compared to the 33 officers killed during the same period in 2020.”
Also thanks to defunding, police departments across the country now lack training, resources, and equipment. Ironically, calls for additional training in cultural awareness, de-escalation, and use of force often have to go unheeded due to the lack of financial resources.
Another irony is that the push to do away with less-lethal options such as Tasers and tear gas will simply lead to more fatal police shootings.
These alarming stories and statistics indicate beyond a doubt that defunding the police is absolutely the wrong move for this great country. You know this, yet you and 285 million other voices are all too often silenced by social pressures as well as physical threats of violence.
You are even told, “Silence is violence,” when it comes to refusing to stand against law enforcement.
Your voice matters, and you need to be heard.
As Law Enforcement Today National Spokesman Kyle Reyes points out:
“Americans have stood by in disbelief as this ‘defund the police’ movement has spread across America and ravaged our communities.
“We’ve watched our cities burn, our officers be attacked and violence skyrocket.
“It’s time to come out of the twilight zone. It’s time to fight back.”
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
Law Enforcement Today, the nation’s largest police-owned media outlet, has developed a way to make your voice heard and oppose those who would seek to remove funding from those who protect and serve.
It’s called the “Re-Fund the Police” campaign.
“We wanted to make the “Re-fund the Police” campaign something that everyone- whether you can spare $1 or $1 million – can be a part of.
“People will donate to politicians all day long in hopes that person will get elected and possibly make a difference.
“We are asking for people to come forward and support those who make a difference and save lives every single day.”
Through your generous donations, Law Enforcement today will direct a media and advertising blitz to rally other Americans who, like you, are done with attacks on law enforcement, both physical and financial.
Here’s what the funds go towards:
- We’ve assembled a “strike team” of researchers and reporters who will delve deeply into the devastating impact that defunding the police has on communities and families. They’re going after not just the “leaders” in Congress who are pushing to defund the police… but they’re exposing everyone from the local politicians and city councils who are behind it. They’re also tracing the money of exactly who is funding this “defund the police” movement.
- We will focus on publicizing all the negative effects of defunding police while expressing support for our brothers and sisters in blue. The advertising blitz will be a show of support for police officers all across America.
In addition, we will be sending a team of reporters into our communities to share positive stories of law enforcement, stories which are consistently ignored by the mainstream media.
As a thank-you for your generosity in standing strong for the blue family, we are offering access codes for Law Enforcement Today’s Wounded Officer documentary and Border Crisis documentary. In addition, we offer additional perks such as stickers and Thin Blue Line face masks or yard signs.
Donors are also able to honor or memorialize a member of the blue family.
For those who cannot afford to contribute, we invite you to be a part of a nationwide chain of prayer warriors.
You can join our prayer chain along with other supporters who are willing to pray for our brothers and sisters in blue.
Also, when you sign up for our newsletter, we will keep you informed on how we are continuing to back the Blue, and bring you the stories the mainstream media will not touch.
Now to small businesses who are sick and tired of watching our cities burn as the “defund the police” movement spreads.
For business donors, we are pleased to offer a unique opportunity to make a difference in police departments across the country.
“We wanted to make sure small businesses could get in the fight, so we are rolling out the ‘adopt a police department’ program.”
Your business donation will be used to cover stories in the community of your choice, and expose those who are attempting to defund the police. Those stories, if you choose, will also include a thank you to your business and a link back to your business website.
In addition, your generous business donation will go toward advertising campaigns that highlight the negative effects of demonizing and defunding the police.
This will give you the opportunity to show to millions of Americans that, unlike “woke” anti-police organizations, you support and appreciate law enforcement.
Reyes points out:
“Corporate America rallied around the Black Lives Matter movement, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to a campaign that brought widespread looting and destruction in our cities.
“This is an opportunity for businesses to show America that law and order and keeping people safe still means something to them.”
Please join your voice with Law Enforcement Today in this campaign to support all those who protect and serve us.
We invite you to visit the Re-Fund the Police website for further information.
If you have questions, or you want to start your own fundraising team, feel free to email us at [email protected]
It’s time to get in the fight.
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