Vi­o­lent crime rises in US

The Myanmar Times - - World -

VI­O­LENT crime in the United States rose by 3.9 per­cent last year, the FBI an­nounced just hours be­fore the first pres­i­den­tial de­bate be­tween Hil­lary Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump where crime was one of the key top­ics.

The FBI said on Septem­ber 26 that in 2015 there were 1,197,704 vi­o­lent crimes, an in­crease of 3.9pc com­pared with the pre­vi­ous year.

Mur­der and non-neg­li­gent man­slaugh­ter in­creased 10.8pc, and firearms were in­volved in two-thirds of those cases, the agency said.

The in­crease in the mur­der rate was due mainly to rises in seven ma­jor cities: Chicago, Bal­ti­more, Houston, Mil­wau­kee, Philadel­phia, Kansas City and Washington.

On the very day the FBI re­port was re­leased, a gun­man in Houston wounded nine peo­ple near an apart­ment com­plex be­fore be­ing shot and killed by po­lice.

On Septem­ber 23, a young male shooter killed five peo­ple in a depart­ment store in Washington state.

De­spite the uptick, White House spokesper­son Josh Earnest said the sta­tis­tics showed that the vi­o­lent crime rate had fallen 15pc since Barack Obama took of­fice.

“The pres­i­dent be­lieves there’s more that we can and should do,” he said. “And there’s no area where the pres­i­dent has been more out­spo­ken than tak­ing ac­tion on com­mon­sense mea­sures that would make it harder for crim­i­nals and oth­ers who shouldn’t have them to buy a gun.”

Crime is one of the pet is­sues of Mr Trump, who de­picts him­self as a tough law-and-or­der can­di­date.

Mr Trump, who is backed by the pow­er­ful US gun lobby, ham­mers away at his idea that Amer­ica is a coun­try threat­ened by un­con­trolled il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, which he blames for vi­o­lent crime and drug traf­fick­ing.

Mr Trump dis­misses Mr Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion as soft on crime.

Last week Mr Trump ex­pressed sup­port for pro­fil­ing – the dis­crim­i­na­tory po­lice prac­tice of tar­get­ing peo­ple for sus­pi­cion of crime on the ba­sis of their race, eth­nic­ity or re­li­gion. Most vic­tims are ei­ther African Amer­i­can or Latino.

Al­though vi­o­lent crime in­creased last year, over­all the ten­dency over the past 20 years has been a de­cline. Crime lev­els in Amer­ica now are far be­low the peak years in the 1990s.

The FBI said it col­lects data on the vi­o­lent crimes of mur­der and non-neg­li­gent man­slaugh­ter, rape, rob­bery and ag­gra­vated as­sault.

Bur­glar­ies fell 7.8pc and larcenythefts de­clined 1.8pc.

The re­lease of the re­port comes as mur­der rates have risen in sev­eral US cities in 2015 and 2016, mainly Chicago, where au­thor­i­ties have re­ported more than 500 homi­cides since Jan­uary. That is more than all of last year.

Ex­perts say dif­fer­ent fac­tors come into play de­pend­ing on the city, mainly drug traf­fick­ing, gang wars and the avail­abil­ity of guns.

Photo: AFP

This file photo taken on June 12 shows po­lice at the mass shoot­ing at the Pulse night­club in Or­lando, Florida. Vi­o­lent crime in the United States rose last year, the FBI said on Septem­ber 26.

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