The Increasing Crime Rate in Big U.S. cities

by Charles Martel on October 4, 2017 - 10:09pm

The article “Violent Crime Is on the Rise in U.S. Cities” by David Johnson from TIME tackles the striking increase in violent crime in many of the United States’ most populated areas in 2016. Despite being far from the kind of violence that was present in 90’s, for a second year in a row last year, data collected from 61 metropolitan police agencies showed significant jumps in homicide, robbery and aggravated assault. Throughout the article, many factors are mentioned, such as gang violence, gun ownership, violence linked to drugs and even conflicts that start on social media. However, it is also mentioned that is still too early to arrive to conclusions toward the intensity of this sustained increase in crime over the country, as according to criminologists, it usually takes more than three years before reliable trendlines can be established.

Personally, it seems as though while we have a general idea of what the root of the problem is, violence will always plague big cities because of their high concentration in population. In such dense areas, there is a lot of different ethnicities and a huge disparity in salaries. Jealousy, prejudice and simply burnouts from overwork are assuredly bound to push people to commit acts of violence.


Even though many aspects in a first world country would make it believe to be peaceful, it is surprising that crime rates can continue to increase in those countries. While it is surprising to see that conflicts on social media seems to be there as many would not act beyond the scope of the internet, as it is a way to hurt others without repercussions and some even put in effort and enjoys doing it. In addition, it is true that in the year 2016 there has been an increase of crime compared to the previous year (Reilly, 2016). Plus, another article seems to also accept the fact that. in 2015, there was a slight increase in the crime rates (MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN?, Nov. 2016)

Reilly, K. (2016). Violent Crime Rising in U.S. Cities Compared to 2015, Study Finds. Time, p.1. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN?. (2016). Reason, vol. 48 (Issue 6), p.8. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

This particular article’s summary interests me because I have some family members who live in the United States and it upsets me that violent crimes have increased there. It is accurate that crime rates are higher than they were before. Sanburn (2015) points out that homicides increased by 15% in New York and by 18% in Chicago compare to last year, while murders in Saint-Louis augmented by 82%. Many factors can explain this raise. In addition to what Charles indicated in his summary, Sanburn (2015) also mentions other factors like the warmer weather and the tension between the police and the civil. However, even if we know the factors that cause all those crimes, we will not be able to stop them. As Charles mentioned, violence will always be present in the world and mainly in big cities.

Source: Sanburn, J. (2015). Rising Violence. Time, 185(22), 16.

I chose this article because crimes in cities are an issue for everyone, for residents, visitors, workers, etc. and considering that I love living in cities, it is quite worrying to constantly have to think about something happening to you.
In 2016, crime rates have indeed increased in the U.S. by about 13%, but what is the most troubling about this number is the fact that nation-wide, crime rates have gone done except in three cities: Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. For example, the increasing crime rate in Chicago are hypothesized to be related to the shrinking police force, the segregated neighborhoods and the increase in gang violence. While it is important to find ways to solve this issue, because they are important, we should not neglect the good side of the story, we should also focus that overall, excluding those cities, cities in the U.S. are safer than they were before.
I think that even though every city is different, we can use what we know about crime rates in cities, the factors related to the crime rate as well as how come in some cities, crime rate has gone down while in others, they have gone up to find a potential issue for cities such as Chicago were the crime rate is predicted to increase in the future.

Hoover, A. S. (2016, September 19). National crime rates rise, but only in three cities. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from

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