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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13 2013 6:00 a.m. MDT

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A Scientist
Provo, UT

Falling crime rates at the same time as dramatic increases in secularization and religious unbelief...

Seems the moral sky is not falling afterall.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

What explains falling crime rates? The fact that many law abiding people now carry concealed guns can't hurt. Criminals know its like playing Russian roulette to go after good people in the street and in their homes.

SME
Bountiful, UT

"Critics of this explanation argue that there isn’t a perfect relationship between crime and punishment."

I'm sure this is true, is there ever a "perfect relationship" in real life.

It is undeniable that when habitual criminals are in jail, they are not committing crimes out on the street. Regardless of whether future crimes are deterred, crimes while they are actually incarcerated are prevented.

Samson01
S. Jordan, UT

No religion
More guns
Prisons

I guess we see what we want to see.

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

The likely sole reason for the decrease in crime rates is the decrease in youth. And the reason for the decrease in youth, is the decrease of births. When the number of youth surged, back in the 1960's and 1970's, it was because large segments of "baby boomers" were coming of age. Since, for example, the early 1970's, among Whites, at least, in the U.S., birth rates have been around 170 babies born, per lifetime, for every 200 adults (where 211 to 213 is exact replacement), this continuing birth dearth has resulted in many fewer children born. This has repeated for nearing three generations now. There should be no real wonder, then, why crime rates have decreased.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

I heard that during the Vietnam war era there was a drop in crime because so many young people were in the military and therefore not out on the streets comitting crime. In the end I think all of the aforementioned reasons and many not yet considered are the reason. In other words, there is not any single reason anyone can hang their hat on and claim "this is it." Also, does any study of crime ever take into account unreported crime? Trick question of course, but that too would have to be considered.

OlderGreg
USA, CA

One major item is missed. If it isn't reported, it doesn't turn up in the data. How many have developed a "why bother" attitude?
Report the stolen tool box? Why bother -- you won't get it back.

Report the crack house next door? Why bother -- the cops will sacrifice your neighborhood as they "investigate" for years, trying to nail the big guy.

The assault? Why bother --- there is no timely protection from the guy who you just aggravated even more --- besides, you probably "asked for it".

The vandalism? Why bother -- the LEO's can't fix it anyway.

Anon0101
Salt Lake City, UT

A very impressive topic for a media outlet.

It's a rare truth many don't realize. From what I've learned, the decrease can be tied back to technology and the good work of politicians/law enforcement. Even though the majority of you will hate that fact. It's true.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

A big reason for the drop in crime rates is that police are so underfunded that they aren't able to chase down every criminal and criminal act.

A few years ago I was in a hit-and-run accident in SLC. I got the description and license plate of the perp and gave it to police when they arrived on scene. They put it into their database and got a name and address associated with the vehicle. It was from a small town in Southern Utah....obviously a different jurisdiction than Salt Lake. The cop told me they would pass the info on to the sheriff in that town but that "I shouldn't expect anything to happen" because the sheriffs in these little towns don't have time to prosecute "minor crimes" like hit-and-run.

The major reason crime is apparently decreasing is because crimes aren't being reported. The crimes are still occurring.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Whoa. Just how would BSR know about crimes that HAVEN'T been reported? And how could he guess at the RATE of change of crimes if no one knows about them? Perhaps people feel more threatened by criminals and could be less willing to report them, but the rate of murder/homicide - over a long period of time - is still down. BSR's accident WAS reported, though there evidently wasn't much follow up.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

If we arrest everyone and put them in prison, the crime rate will be nil.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@cjb
But crime has fallen in western states, while there doesn't appear to be data on this, I'm betting that people in Utah, Idaho and Montana carried guns in the 60's and 70's as much or more than they do now.

worf
Mcallen, TX

So! Why is our country arming the countries of the world?

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