About . . . . Classes . . . . Books . . . . Vita . . . . Blog. . . . Podcast

by Peter Moskos

May 26, 2009

Crime Down in Baltimore

Justin Fenton writes in the Sun.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Moskos,

Isn't a drop in lesser crimes combined with a spike in murder anti-theoretical? Can you point out some of the seminal articles on testing this?

PCM said...

It sure is.

But first of all, don't call me doctor.

As my father used to say:

I'm not a doctor.

Doctors can tell you to take your clothes off.

And you'll do it.

And don't think I haven't tried!
But seriously, I can't think of articles off the top of my head.... Maybe I should write one.

It certainly is anti-theoretical... at best. Perhaps downright lies, at worst.

If they say crime is down and murders are up, don't believe it. Murders correlate with the public drug trade. And both correlate with crime overall.

Shootings may be an better indicator of violence than murders. Sometimes there can be an unlucky or lucky streak with the ratio of shootings to murders (generally it's about 3:1). But it's a lot easier to get good data on homicides.

So unless you can tell me *why* shootings are up and crime is down, I won't believe it. As a crude indicator of violent crime and quality of life, go with with homicides.