It actually already HAS in many places! The idea to write about crime occured to me a few days ago, when, while taking a long walk on a well known hiking trail near my house, I ran across a hysterical lady who's car had just been broken into. I've done this same hike at LEAST A THOUSAND times over the course of the nearly 20 years that I have lived in this same house. In that time, I have never seen this happen once.
What made this ESPECIALLY amazing, is that it was a gorgeous day brimming with people coming in and out of the entrance and very near to a busy boulevard. The victimized lady had had all her valuables taken. It was "prime time" for walks. The number of hikers were at their peak. As far as I could tell it was inconceivable that, given this traffic, no one saw the incident. If someone had, they sure as hell didn't report it! Finally, the victim's car was parked in the closest possible spot to the entrance gate. There were at least 50 cars parked there at that time.
In the last several months, I've heard anecdotally about an incredible amount of recent crime. Personally, I , MYSELF, have been robbed of a few valuables by someone who worked for me for years. The first time ever!! Also, a close friend of mine was robbed of HIS wine collection worth thousands by someone that apparently was working for HIM! It was the only time he had suffered such a fate. I've informally surveyed other friends and they tell me the same thing. Almost all of them had heard of recent, first-time victims, who live in "safe" areas.
Here in the U.S., comprehensive crime statistics are compiled by the Federal Bureau of Invesigation and Department of Justice. These numbers are only available through 2007. However, more recent
numbers ARE available, through a Reuters article. In January, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a Washington-based law enforcement agency, reported increases in crime attributable to the current economic downturn among 44% of its agencies surveyed.
PERF also found that 6% of these police departments had already been saddled with budget cuts and that 63% were making plans to deal with expected FUTURE cuts. PERF spokesmen expected the crime rate to continue rising.
According to most sociologists, crime has risen in every recession since the 1950's, although that conclusion remains somewhat controversial.
The crime rise has not been limited to the United States. According to a very recent report by The Straits Times, a website sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings (http://www.straitstimes.com/), crime is on the increase in Great Britain as well, led by domestic burglaries. Bicycle thefts have risen year-over-year by 22%, while other forms of crime, such as fraud and violence, have actually fallen.
The phenemenon is apparently spreading world-wide with vigor. Severin Sorenson is President of Silkyur LLC, a security management consulting firm. Sorenson writes an occasional blog on crime-related issues (http://d2crimewave,com/). In a mid-March essay, he remarks that a world-wide "crime wave" has taken hold.
Sorenson reports that, as of the writing of his blog, increased crime waves were being experienced in a remarkable number of diverse countries, such as Argentina, Australia, Israel and Mexico. And, OF COURSE, the U.S. and U.K. Finally, he remarks that the situation is especially acute in developing nations.
I hope you manage to stay free of this wave of crime. It's important to note that the liklihood of crime depends on many factors, such as location and demographics. I live in Los Angeles, which is especially prone.
As always, you're comments are welcome, pro or con. Tomorrow, we'll publish Part 2 of "The California Crisis Deepens". So, we hope you'll tune in.