Americans’ perception of rising crime at highest level since 1993, poll says

Americans’ perception of rising crime at highest level since 1993, poll says

A recent Gallup poll showed that Americans’ perception of crime as having increased from the previous year is at its highest level since 1993, while actual crime statistics for the first half of 2020 offer a mixed message.

The poll, released Nov. 13, showed that about 78% of Americans believe crime has increased from last year. 然而, fewer than 40% perceived crime in their own area as having increased.

This discrepancy – regarding perceptions of national versus local crime levels – has been consistent with Gallup poll findings over the years.

Police tape cordons off a crime scene.

Police tape cordons off a crime scene. (fbi.gov)

The poll found that these perceptions were intertwined with the events of a tumultuous year, namely the 新冠病毒 pandemic and the nationwide social unrest sparked by the 警察-custody death of 乔治·弗洛伊德 in Minneapolis on May 25.

Crime statistics from the FBI, 然而, offer a mixed message on the actual trajectory of crime in the United States. 一个 September report from the FBI showed that the overall number of violent crimes and property crimes reported between January and June 2020 was less than the same period the year before.

Definitive statistics from June onward remain unclear, given that the nationwide unrest was just beginning to gain headway that month and lasted through the summer.

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最近几年, Gallup has found that people identifying with the political party opposite the one controlling the White House are more likely to perceive crime as having increased. But this year, there has been a perception among Republicans and right-leaning independents that crime has increased from the previous year.

The findings further demonstrated that 共和党人 were more likely to blame the social unrest on the increase in crime, 而 民主党人 were more likely to highlight the social effects of the pandemic.

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Gallup poll was conducted between Sept. 30–Oct. 15.

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