Tags: crime | plunges | in | cities

Violent Crime Plunges in Cities, Experts Baffled

Monday, 20 Jul 2009 08:28 AM

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Experts say they're pleased but baffled as to why violent crime rates have plunged in major cities across the United States.

Homicide rates in Washington, New York and Los Angeles are approaching 40-year lows, while Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and other cities are also on track for serious declines, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Experts did not see this coming at all, Andrew Karmen, a criminologist at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, told the newspaper.

But although experts don't agree on what's causing the unexpected trend, police in the Washington area like to think it's because of their good work, District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told the Post.

Everybody wants to beat us up when it goes up, so we'll take credit for it when it goes down, she said, adding new high-tech capabilities are allowing police to target specific crimes or areas aided by analyses that let investigators prevent more crime.

Police in New York, for instance, have established a data center that allows officers on the scene of a homicide to listen in to 911 calls as they come in, the newspaper said.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted Via Newscom.

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