North Carolina crime rates for 2009 are at the lowest rate in 25 years according to the Raleigh News-Observer. The state experienced the sharpest single year drop ever since they began collecting the data in 1973. Not surprisingly, however, no one can agree on what’s causing the decrease.
Watching the news you wouldn’t know crime was down. The media takes every story of crime and runs with it, knowing how their viewers like a good crime story. This entertainment style of journalism leads to a skewed view on crime, however.
Violent crime dropped 12.5% and the overall crime rate fell 8.8%. The biggest drop came from Chatham County, who saw a remarkable drop of 14.7%. Motor vehicle theft dropped statewide by 25.8%.
So what’s the cause of these dramatic numbers? Well, no one knows for certain though everyone has theories. Federal prosecutor George Holding says “It’s not complicated, prosecute and incarcerate”. He seems to think it’s because we are successfully locking up all of the criminals—as if there wouldn’t be others to take their place.
Another argument is that the population overall is getting older. The majority of crimes are committed by younger adults and as the population ages, there are fewer young to commit the offenses. The baby boomers are simply getting too old to run afoul of the laws.
Another interesting theory that runs counter to a popularly held belief is that property crime actually decreases in times of financial strife. It declined during the Great Depression as well. Typically people assume crime will increase with the growth of financial stress—this isn’t necessarily true.
Interestingly, North Carolina isn’t the only place seeing dramatic shifts in crime rates. This trend is being seen across the country.
Here, however, the most commonly agreed upon reason is a tough approach to crime. Whether their reasoning is valid or not, the state keeps a pretty tight grip on criminal violators, recently passing legislation that will require the collection of DNA from people accused of many violent felonies.
There’s no indication that the state of North Carolina will let up on their tough on crime policies either. So, if you are facing criminal charges you need to protect yourself with a strong legal defense advocate. Contact us today for a consultation on any North Carolina criminal offense.