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The victim of crime trend

Posted by James Alan Fox, Crime and Punishment October 18, 2012 11:45 AM

"Violent crimes jump unexpectedly," read the headline of a Page 2 news brief in today’s Boston Globe. The attention-grabber sounds as scary as it is wrong -- wrong on two counts. Not only is it rather misleading to call the latest trend in violent crime victimization a jump, but the increase that did occur was hardly surprising.

The following chart showing the rate of violent crime over the past two decades based on the annual survey of tens of thousands of households nationwide places the statistical report in the proper context. Sure, violent crime was up in 2011 over 2010, but it remained lower than every other year since the early 1990s. The rate of violent crime victimization in 2011 was actually the second best in recent history; but with 2010 being the best, the one year trend from 2010 to 2011 appeared worrisome – an 18 percent surge in violent crime.

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Sandusky's fate in prison is no joke

Posted by James Alan Fox, Crime and Punishment October 9, 2012 12:00 PM

While growing up in this area, I was a big fan of AM talk shows. Of course, talk radio was quite a bit different a half-century ago, both in content and style.

Back then, in the 1960s, I was an avid listener of Paul Benzaquin, Jerry Williams and Steve Fredericks, three stars of the airwaves who truly put the “master” in the role of talk-master. Benzaquin and Williams were honored by induction into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and Fredericks likely would have been nominated had he not moved back to his hometown of Philadelphia where he became a renowned sport announcer.

I hardly ever listen to talk shows anymore. It is not just the shift from liberal ideas to ultra right-wing thinking that I dislike. It is more the anger and vitriol that has turned me and my radio off to squawk shows.

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About the author

James Alan Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University. He has written 18 books, including his newest, "Violence and Security on Campus: From Preschool through College." More »

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