Are crime statistics reliable or are they politicized to support the narrative officials want to present to the public?


Are crime statistics reliable or are they politicized to support the narrative officials want to present to the public?


Are crime statistics reliable or are they politicized to support the narrative officials want to present to the public?


Crime statistics are one of the most important tools we have for understanding our communities. But they’re also highly politicized and sometimes misused by officials who want to present an idealized version of their cities to the public. In this article, I’ll explain why crime statistics are unreliable and how that affects your perception of safety in different settings.

If a city is known for high crime rates, then that’s bad for tourism.

If a city is known for high crime rates, then that’s bad for tourism.

But if you look at the numbers and consider how they’ve changed over time, you’ll see that they’re not nearly as frightening as they used to be. In fact, some cities have seen a significant drop in their crime rates over recent years—and some areas with high levels of crime have actually seen improvement too! For example:

  • New York City saw its murder rate drop about 50% from 2014 through 2017 (from 58 per 100k residents to 31). This was accomplished by implementing more police officers on patrols and improving police technology such as body cameras and gunshot detection systems; it also helped that there were fewer shootings overall during those years because of increased reporting requirements among gun owners who wanted to make sure their weapons weren’t used illegally against others (which prompted more people seeking licenses).

In the past, crime was primarily a problem in large cities with poverty and high rates of unemployment.

There’s no doubt that crime is a problem in rural areas too. In fact, it’s a problem in suburbs and wealthy neighborhoods too. The point isn’t to dismiss these places as “bad” or to say that they don’t deserve support from the government; rather, it’s about recognizing that crime statistics aren’t just about cities where poverty and unemployment are high—they’re also about suburbs with stable populations that have been hurt by the crash of 2008 (and its aftermath).

In theory at least, this should make sense: if we want to reduce overall levels of criminal activity across all cities around the country then we should focus our efforts on those areas with higher rates of poverty and unemployment first because those are the ones most likely to need help fixing their problems before turning them into something worse (like gang violence).

These days, though, crime is spreading across all socio-economic levels.

These days, though, crime is spreading across all socio-economic levels. For example, in 2016 there were more than 6 million violent crimes nationwide—including rape and sexual assault—and according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR), the number of reported offenses increased by about 10 percent between 2015 and 2016.

And while many believe that violent crime has been on a decline since 1993 amid stricter gun control laws and other measures taken by law enforcement agencies across America since then – including an increase in police officers patrolling neighborhoods – this isn’t necessarily true either: despite what you may hear from your local news station or social media echo chamber these days…

An area’s crime rate has to be evaluated in terms of its own context rather than compared to others.

In many cases, crime rates are higher in rural areas than urban areas. For example, the 2010 FBI Uniform Crime Report found that 63% of murder victims were killed in urban areas and only 37% were killed in rural counties. At the same time, violent crimes like rape and assault are more common in cities than they are on farms or ranches because people tend to be less vigilant when they’re away from their homes or work places; this makes them easier targets for criminals who want to commit these types of offenses.

In addition to population density being an influence on crime rates (and thus making them seem higher than they actually are), other factors such as poverty also play a role: high levels of unemployment lead people to have fewer resources available for law enforcement agencies; while low-income households may not have enough money left over after paying rent each month (or even worse—they might owe back taxes).

Crime statistics are not reliable because they are often biased by politics and demographics.

Crime statistics are not reliable because they are often biased by politics and demographics.

The first point of contention is that crime statistics are often politicized. For example, in the United States, we have a president who has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women and paid off his accusers (this happened while he was still governor of Illinois). This has led many people to question whether or not any data collected on sexual assault cases should be made public – especially when those numbers might show how widespread the problem really is among our country’s citizens.

In addition to this issue being one of bias in data collection and analysis, there’s also an issue with how crime statistics are presented: politicians use them as proof that their policies work without ever citing any evidence supporting these claims (and sometimes even contradicting themselves). For example: President Obama claimed during his re-election campaign last year that violent crime had fallen since 2008 despite having no evidence supporting such an assertion; however this claim turned out false when more recent FBI data showed no significant change at all!


Crime statistics are often used to make decisions about how we invest in our police and other law enforcement agencies. But do these numbers tell us anything about whether or not a city is safe for residents? As it turns out, not really!

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