Gallup's Justin McCarthy reports on the crime rate in the U.S., and why Americans believe it is only getting worse.
Last year, 63% of those surveyed believed that crime worsened from the previous year, and this year, that tally has jumped to 70%. However,the reality on the street reflects a trend that's moving in the opposite direction: Government data shows that violent crimes have decreased in the past two decades.
Government statistics show serious crime decreased nearly every year from 1994 through 2010. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, the overall violent crime rate for rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault fell from 80 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 1994 to 19 per 1,000 in 2010. In the first decade of that trend, public opinion followed.
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