I don't know about you but I've been hearing a lot of stories that cause me to worry about crime increasing during this bad economic time. My neighborhood and surrounding areas are usually safe places but lately we've seen reports of bank robberies, assaults, and property thefts at rates we haven't experienced before.
As I read the newspaper each day I see more places are experiencing the same problems too.
- In Washington, DC stolen autos from gas stations represented a 93.5% increase (nearly double) from 2006 to 2007 and gas station thefts (thefts from auto, thefts, and stolen autos) were up 75.2% over the last four years.
- In Atlanta, property crimes rose 6.5 percent from 8,203 to 8,736 incidents in the past year.
- Reported crime increased in Alabama up to 6% from 2006 to 2007.
- A recent US. Conference of Mayors survey reported 42% of the 124 responding cities are seeing increased crime as a result of current economic conditions.
- According to a survey by PERF (Police Executive Research Forum), 45 of 65 cities reported 12% increases in robberies from 2004-2006.
And crime is even creeping more into the workplace. A survey of retailers nationwide completed in October by the National Retail Federation said 79 percent reported an increase in employee theft compared with the same period the year before.
All of these reports and seeing things in my own back yard make me wonder if criminals are becoming more emboldened? Or is some of the rising crime attributable to good people pushed to their breaking point and seeing crime as a way to get what they want or need?
Is it a case of If they can't afford it, they steal it?