In Our Minds, at Least, Crime Is Coming Back

Correctly or not, Americans think crime has been rising, to judge by Gallup polling this month. Seventy-four percent said there’s more crime in the U.S. than a year ago, vs. 15 percent saying there’s less. Similarly, 51 percent said there’s more crime “in your area,” vs. 29 percent saying there’s less.

Actually, it’s the norm in such polls for people to say crime is up, irrespective of real-world crime data. What’s striking in the current poll is that the “more crime” numbers are sharply higher than five years ago.

In a breakdown of the findings by region, respondents in the South were the most likely to say there’s more crime “in your area” than a year ago (59 percent) and the least likely to say there’s less crime (26 percent). The West had the highest “less crime” vote (35 percent) and the lowest “more crime” tally (45 percent).