The latest data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate that the rate of violent crime per 1,000 population has decreased 56 percent from 1993-2004. The rate is unchanged from last year, and both are the lowest ever shown by this nationally representative sample of the U.S. population age 12 and over.
Even more, although it is unexplained, the decline of violent crime is greatest from 2001-2 and 2002-3 in the Western region of the United States (-17 percent) compared to the Northeast, Midwest and South (all between -5 to -6 percent). (Data were not provided for 1993-2004 trends.) The decline in the rate of property crime was marginally significant for the West but not for other regions.
While one can still say that crime is too high and can be reduced, it seems as though the press should rally behind the idea that crime is decreasing. However, because the media use crime as a staple of entertainment and fear, they miss the point--they continue to report body bag journalism in the daily news because that is what the news does.