Street crime has been an issue since the times of colonialization itself. And, since the time when members of the society had first conducted street crime, the numbers representing it have gone up and down. A more recent case was the daylight gunning down of American rapper and songwriter, Nipsey Hussle, in Hyde Park, Los Angeles.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of street violence, we will need to understand what exactly constitutes street crime. Street crime is defined as violent crimes that are carried out directly on the victim, using force and physical pressure. With this definition in place, it is easy to see why robbery, assault, rape, manslaughter, burglary and motor-vehicle theft fall under this category.
The Gravity Of It
Street crime rates in 2017 showed that a total of 1,401,840 reports of burglary, 810,825 cases of aggravated assault, 773,139 reports of motor-vehicle thefts, 135,755 robberies and rape cases, respectively and 17,284 cases of manslaughter and murder.
Although, when compared to the 1990, these recent numbers seem much smaller, the cycle for 2018 has been on a slight upward trend, just at a much slower pace, suggesting that criminals may be more aware of the consequences of getting caught by the authorities and have set out to plan their criminal projects with caution, so as not to leave traces.
When drilling down into these statistics, it could be noted that the crimes in 2018 were much more significant in number, in a demography of more than 1,000,00 people where the number of violent crimes were down by only 2.8% compared to that of areas with lesser people, where the numbers showed a decrease of almost double.
Notably, rape cases increased by 0.6% overall but that can be mostly attributed to states or areas with a density of 1,000,000 people and over. The rates in such dense populations showed that there was a 6.5% increase in rape cases for such demography. Murders also showed a sharp increase with 7.5% more cases reported, however, these were more common in non-metropolitan areas.
The Causation Behind It
Criminal behavior can be caused by almost any trigger factor that can deeply affect the person committing the crime. The most common drivers of criminal activity would be anger and vengefulness, both of which can arise from anything ranging from a small spat to a full-blown international business deal.
Another factor may also be mental state that the criminal is in. They may have experienced traumas in their childhood or early teens, which may have pushed them to accept criminal activity as a release and to justify their wrongdoings. Familial issues can also be a secondary cause, with abuse, domestic violence and child abuse being the prime reasons for criminal behavior.
For example, a male child that grew up in an abusive environment, with their mother as the abuser, would be compelled to harbor hatred towards women in general. This hatred then manifests itself into a need to dominate women forcefully, to make up for the years of abuse they have suffered, sparking rape cases.
The Working Solution For It
The solution to such violent crimes should not only be considered from the current standpoint of having the authorities take swift action to lead to uncovering and the eventual arrest of these criminals but, also to have a structural solution for the society, as a driver for long-term prevention.
Among the most recently discussed was the solution that called for stricter gun control laws, which has the country divided. Tighter gun control laws and accountability of both gun sellers and purchasers would be able to help stringently control the number of firearms within a population. Besides that, such limitations prevent further sale of firearms in the black market, significantly reducing the access of guns to gangs and underground criminal groups.
Having better healthcare facilities that cater for those with such history of abuse and trauma would also help them cope much better with their internal issues and reduce the chances of them turning to violence. Early identification of such signs and interventions from close family and friends would also aid the person in coming to terms with their internal conflicts and seek proper, professional mental help.
Violent crimes, albeit showing a decrease in the past decade, is actually still on a slow rise, with criminals carefully planning each unlawful move to avoid being captured by the law. It is our responsibility to remain vigilant and sensitive to our surroundings and the people in it, to help alleviate some of these crimes. If you suspect that a criminal may be in your midst, our people search would be able to give you all the information you need.