However, is the problem really public perception? Or is it the manner in which crime data is being collected? The FBI’s data collection is generally considered the most complete and accurate look at crime in the US and is referenced consistently by the media and by political leaders, but what if that information is now unreliable?
In January 2021, the FBI officially switched data collection methods from the Uniform Crime Reporting database to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). This was done right before Joe Biden entered the White House. The NIBRS system requires agencies to submit more detailed data, which has caused the transition to the new system to be slow. In 2021, only 63% of law enforcement agencies submitted NIBRS data to the FBI.
There is still no complete data released for 2020-2022, making it difficult to gauge the true increase or decrease in overall crime in the past few years. For example, some large police departments began to report data to the FBI again in 2022, like the Miami-Dade Police Department. But the two largest police agencies in the U.S., the New York Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department, are still missing in the federal data.
The FBI plans to finally release a full crime report with all data included before the elections in 2024, though, it would not be surprising if this information was withheld until after elections conclude.
It should be noted that the switch in statistical methods by agencies including the FBI has mostly benefited Democrats. It was perfectly timed with the covid pandemic crisis, the BLM riots as well as the inflationary crisis, three events which would predictably lead to higher homicides and theft; but with limited data to prove it Democrats could make whatever claims they wanted.
If the establishment planned to hide or suppress a spike in crime, that was the right time to engineer a bureaucratic reset in information collection. When the FBI released its 2021 national crime data last fall, it couldn’t say if crime went up, went down, or stayed the same. The FBI concluded that all three scenarios could be possible because of the gaps in the data.
The holes in the data have been exploited regularly, primarily by Democrats and the media, because the lack of information makes it appear as though violent crime is on the decline, but this is based on estimates instead of a full overview. It is also often predicated on “successful” homicides alone, rather than attempted homicides, aggravated assaults and other crimes that include violent acts.
If we apply the complete data from before 2020, and add the limited stats available after 2020, Democrat run cities continue to dominate the list of most crime ridden cities in America. Of the top 20 most violent places in the US (including homicides, nonnegligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, rape and robbery), 17 are controlled by democrats. They include:
Chicago, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Lansing, Nashville, Anchorage, San Bernardino, Oakland, Indianapolis, Springfield (MO), Albuquerque, Stockton, Rockford, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Little Rock, Memphis, Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis.
One (Stockton, CA) was run by Democrats previously and now has a Republican mayor who entered office in 2021 in the middle of the crime stat drought. One (Springfield, MO) has an independent mayor, and the last is the mayor of Anchorage who is Republican.
Of the top ten cities with the most property crime, ALL of them except Stockton are run by Democrats.
But what about leftist cities that are prominent in the news and social media with rampant crime? What about places like New York, LA and San Francisco? As mentioned earlier, many of these cities are not reporting full crime data to the FBI, using the new NIBRS system as an excuse. For example, the city of San Francisco does not plan to provide full and accurate crime reports to the FBI until 2025. That’s right, they will withhold full crime stats until after the 2024 elections.
So, when you see Democrats like Joe Biden and Gavin Newsom bragging about lower crime or arguing about “exaggerated perceptions of crime,” just remember that when the stats are incomplete, they can make those stats say whatever they want them to say. Ultimately, Americans can see the rising problem with their own eyes and the condescending nature of the political left’s denials is only making matters worse by encouraging criminals to act with the assumption that they will go unnoticed.