Yesterday, the FBI released its Uniform Crime Report data for the first half of 2006. The data shows violent crime, particularly robberies and assaults, continuing an alarming upswing that began in 2005. An article in today's Washington Post article quotes criminal justice experts as saying, "Many communities, particularly those in urbanized areas, may be headed into a period of sustained crime increases ..." Not encouraging news, but not unexpected considering the significant increases we have experienced here in Mount Rainier over the past 12 months.
As to the causes, the Bush Administration's cutbacks in aid to local law enforcement to help fund anti-terrorism activities and the war in Iraq, more than $2 Billion since 2002, is right at the top. James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston, was quoted as saying: "It's robbing Peter, and maybe even murdering Peter, to pay Paul."
I could not agree more.
Hopefully, our new Congress, new Governor and new State legislators will begin to restore desperately needs funds to assist local agencies in combating violent crime, preventing and suppressing gang violence and influence, and establishing youth initiatives that keep kids from becoming involved in criminal activity. Like politics, public safety is local, and it is critical that resources filter down to the local (municipal) level.
You can read the entire Post article here: