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Good News About Violent Crime

OPB | Jan. 6, 2011 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 9:48 p.m.

According to the FBI, the number of violent crimes reported by law enforcement in Oregon has mirrored a national trend and gone steadily downward over the past few years. Despite a bad economy in 2008, violent crime dropped more dramatically here than in any other state.

There are many possible explanations for this reduction in assaults, rapes, murders and other crimes. Some credit Oregon’s strict mandatory minimum sentencing laws, particularly Measure 11 which was passed in 1994. Others point to treatment programs and a crackdown on meth labs in recent years.

Even though violent crime is on the decrease, many Americans believe it’s going up. Criminology professor Randy Blazak cites media coverage of crime as a main reason for this misconception.

Does violent crime seem to be going down, or perhaps up, in your community? Do you pay attention to crime statistics? What bearing do they have on how you live your life? Have you been a victim of violent crime? How did it change your perception of where you live?

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