Brighter Sign of a Safer World
Most of us base our concepts of the world on our own experience. Compared to what you remember from your childhood, is the world a safer or more dangerous place? Of the 21 Gallup surveys conducted since 1990, a large majority of the Americans surveyed felt violent crime are continuing to get worse with every year. A Pew Research Center survey in 2016 showed 57% of registered voters said crime had gotten worse over the previous decade. But what do the numbers say?
There are two sources that measure the nation’s crime rate. One is an annual survey of more than 90,000 households conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). This survey asks a series of questions to participants ages 12 and older whether they were victims of crime in the previous six months. The second source of numbers comes from an annual report by the FBI tracking the number of reported serious crimes across 18,000 jurisdictions from all parts of the country. Both of these sources show that violent crimes peaked in the mid 90’s and have been on a steady decline since. From 1993 to 2015, the FBI numbers show the rate of violent crimes fell by 50%. The only increase was between 2014 and 2015 at a rate of 3%. The BJS report showed a similar decline at a fall rate of 77% since 1993 with a slight uptick between 2014 and 2015. These numbers may not be a complete snapshot of the total criminal activity within our country since they can only track reported crimes and those individuals willing to admit they have been a victim of a violent crime. For the information we have, the trend is encouraging.
Knowing what the number's say, what difference should that make in our security decisions? I would argue absolutely none! Fear is merely an emotion and knowing the numbers should help subdue that fear. However, safety is not an emotion and should be treated with respect. Everyone deserves to be and feel safe in their surroundings. Surveillance technologies provide that security, safety, and ability to move this world without the fear. We must all take steps to keep the trend of a safer world moving forward.