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Gallup poll: Fear of crime back to 2019 levels

By Jason Collins
Gallup poll: Fear of crime back to 2019 levels
Cybercrimes, most notably theft of identity and financial and personal information, remain the highest cause for concern, as online shopping increased during the pandemic, according to a new Gallup poll. File Image by Diego Fabian Parra Pabon/Pixabay

Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The percentage of Americans worrying about specific crimes has returned to 2019 levels after dipping during the pandemic, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Fear of specific crimes, including mugging, car theft, burglary, sexual and other physical assault and identity theft increased five to nine points compared to 2020, the survey found.

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Crime fears dipped significantly during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic amid social distancing and lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus.

In the new poll, cybercrimes, most notably theft of identity and financial and personal information, remain the highest cause for concern, as online shopping increased during the pandemic.

Some 72% reported being occasionally worried about computer hacking and data theft, with 74% of people occasionally worrying about identity theft. The two crimes remain among the highest-ranking on Gallup's "Americans' Worry About Crimes" list since they were introduced to the list in 2009.

Worries about other specific crimes, including having a school-age child physically abused at school (55%), being assaulted at the workplace (23%) and being a victim of a hate crime (31%) remain statistically unchanged, showing differences of less than five points compared to last year.

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The FBI reported last month that hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 76% last year during the pandemic. Additionally, 60% of hate crimes committed nationwide in 2020 were motivated by race, while one-fifth was motivated by sexual orientation and 13% by religious motives.

The Gallup poll was conducted Oct. 1-19.

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