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Declining Crime Rates In America Essay

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Crime rates can provide insight as to what deviance, or lack thereof, is occurring in a society. Crime rates in North America have been steadily declining after the year 1990. The study of the declining crime rate is integral to criminology because it represents the progress made by people in their effort to reduce crime and make a safer society for everyone. It also symbolizes the changing values and morals that society holds. Although the motivations behind the change in crime rate are complicated and several, this paper will be analyzing a few of these reasons. Immigration is one factor that plays a role in the declining crime rates. The arrival of new immigrants has an impact on the environment of neighbourhoods that tends to decrease crime…show more content…
Often people believe that crime rates depict an accurate image of the crimes taking place, however this is not true. The issue is crime is often subject to the various interpretations before it is recorded. The victim and the criminals have their own perceptions of what happened, as do the police that report it and the individuals who record it. Additionally, an even bigger problem exists which is the lack of crimes reported. In an article called Dimensions of the Dark Figure of Unreported Crime, Wesley Skogan illustrates that a majority of crimes go unreported. In fact, in the late 1970’s the United States of America reported only 28% of incidents (Skogan, 1977). A study shows that crimes reported in Canada peaked in 1990 and has been decreasing ever since (StatsCanada, 2014). This is accurate, as people often do not know they are committing a crime or they think it’s not severe enough to get any attention. They may be afraid of the consequences of reporting it or perhaps they simply do not have the time. The correlation is evident and exists between crimes reported and crime rates. Crime rates are fuelled by the information given by crime reports and so even if there actually is more crime occurring, crime rates will illustrate that there is little crime occurring if little crime is reported. Therefore, the decline in crime rates is partially because there has been a decline in reported
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