Asymmetrical Explanations

Crime rates seem to bounce up and down over time.  Has anyone noticed that city governments typically ascribe rising crime rates to uncontrollable demographic trends while crediting falling crime rates to improved policing?

The drop comes nine months after Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton vowed to
crack down on gangs. But though previous anti-gang campaigns have
involved mass arrests and high-profile sweeps, this effort has been
more targeted.

And in its most radical shift, the LAPD is putting aside decades of
suspicion and turning for help to gang intervention workers, many of
whom were gang members.

....Overall, Los Angeles has recorded [289] homicides so far this
year, with Bratton saying he believes the city will end the year with
the lowest number of killings in 37 years (in 1970, there were 394
homicides). Authorities believe the help of gang intervention workers
has made a difference, but they acknowledge that they can't fully
explain the drop.

By the way, I will be waiting for those who ascribe rising crime rates in Southern California to illegal immigrants to admit their mistake this week.

  • http://lifetrek.blogspot.com LifeTrek

    "By the way, I will be waiting for those who ascribe rising crime rates in Southern California to illegal immigrants to admit their mistake this week."

    A quick Google didn't give me any to keep an eye on this week - is this a strawman or do you have any in mind?
    DKK

  • http://blog.myspace.com/jensfiederer Jens Fiederer

    I hope you've got a book to read or something else to keep you occupied while you wait.

    I mean, just imagine how good those stats would have been if it WEREN'T for those damn furriners!

  • Larry Sheldon

    Imagine how good they would be it somebody besides the Los Angeles "Times" was telling the story!

  • Tim

    I wish that when these homicide numbers were printed they would include the numbers for attempted murder too. It bugs me that I am supposed to assume that just because the number of people that died dropped, crime dropped too. How do we know that those 100 lives difference between 1970 and now can't be attributed to improvements in medical science?

  • TakeFive

    I suppose these stories we are seeing the papers couldn't be part of the explaination. The stories about illegals leaving the country out of fear over the stepped up enforcement actions:

    Illegal immigrants moving out
    By Emily Bazar, USA TODAY

    Illegal immigrants living in states and cities that have adopted strict immigration policies are packing up and moving back to their home countries or to neighboring states.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-09-26-moving_N.htm