Criminologists are having trouble explaining why violent crime rates in the United States dropped in 2010, because many had forecast an increase tied to the recession, The New York Times
reports. Even as the economy sputtered, violent crime fell to its lowest rate in nearly 40 years, according to new FBI figures.
Experts used words such as “remarkable” and “striking” to describe a plunge in crime rates that has continued in recent years, straight through the recession. Robberies, as one example, fell 9.5 percent last year after falling 8 percent in 2009.
“Given the fact that we have had some healthy declines in recent years, I fully expected that improvement would slow,” said criminologist James Alan Fox of Northeastern University. “There is only so much air you can squeeze out of a balloon.”
One exception to the national trend was New York City, which saw increases in murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault last year.
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