Poll: Americans perceive crime on the rise

Nov. 18, 2010 at 8:31 AM

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Two-thirds of U.S. residents asked perceive an increase in crime across the United States this year over 2009, a Gallup Poll released Thursday indicated.

Sixty-six percent of respondents said they thought there was more crime now than a year ago, while 17 percent indicated the opposite, results indicated.

Americans said they are somewhat more positive about the crime trends locally, but still are more likely to see crime going up, not down, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

These trends, based on Gallup's annual crime survey, come at a time when both the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics separately reported drops in property and violent crime from 2008 to 2009, and documented longer-term declines in both types of crime as well.

Sixty percent of respondents said they believe the crime problem is "extremely" or "very serious," up from 55 percent in 2009, the researcher said.

As in previous surveys, people indicated they were much less concerned about local crime, with only 13 percent saying the local crime problem is "extremely" or "very serious," Gallup said.

Results are based on telephone interviews of 1,025 adults conducted Oct. 7-10. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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