A common belief in the world of criminology as well as among the general public, is that crime will rise as people struggle financially. This trend can be found as many cities across the country have experienced spikes in crime over the past year. Some cities, including New York and Los Angeles have toppled this belief in posting a decrease in criminal activity in 2008.
It seems common sense that when people are desperate, unemployed, and financially stressed they would be more likely to commit crimes to keep their standard of living acceptable. This isn’t always the case, as is shown by the crime rates throughout the past year.
The L.A. Times reports that last year saw an overall reduction in property crimes with offenses like auto theft and burglary falling 6.4%. Property crimes aren’t the only things falling. Violent offenses like assault and rape declined as well, by 4.9%. Throughout the county, the Sherriff’s Department reports a overall crime decrease of 10%. These numbers are great for any year but particularly pleasing considering the financial hardships being experienced by Los Angeles residents.
The reason for this decline is puzzling. Many, including the Chief of Police William J. Barton believe effective policing should get the credit. This theory will be tested as budget shortfalls may require the loss of officers and personnel if the current economic situation doesn’t improve.
Although crime is on the downswing for now, people are arrested and charged with criminal offenses every day in Los Angeles County and the remainder of California. Those folks facing the judge don’t really care about the crime rate as their attention is focused on their own case.
They may have turned to crime because of their financial situation or perhaps simply made a poor choice on a day they wish they could do-over. Regardless, what’s done is done and now they need the assistance of a local and experienced defense attorney.
If you are facing criminal charges during this time, call our attorneys to discuss your case.