Crime

The Good News: Despite Duff Economy, Big City Murder Rates Drop

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From the Washington Post:

Violent crime has plummeted in the Washington area and in major cities across the country, a trend criminologists describe as baffling and unexpected. 

The District, New York and Los Angeles are on track for fewer killings this year than in any other year in at least four decades. Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and other cities are also seeing notable reductions in homicides.

"Experts did not see this coming at all," said Andrew Karmen, a criminologist and professor of sociology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

In the District and Prince George's County, homicides are down about 17 percent this year.

Criminologists have different theories about why crime is down so much, although many agree that the common belief that crime is connected to the economy is false.

Baltimore and Dallas are two big cities that are not enjoying a drop in murders. Much of the rest of the Post article is D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier crowing about how her department's techniques are the reason for the drop, including bigger cash payouts to citizens for tips that lead to convictions, and deeper embedding of beat cops into communities.