(ed: we have this same syndrome here in new zealand.
as in america crine rates here have fallen sharply – but i am sure polling would show that most people think crime is worse than ever..
i in part blame the constant diet of local and foreign(!) crime in the mainstream media..
the nz herald and stuff sometimes read like police-blotters..
with sensationalist headlines drawing readers to yet another crime-story..
and this constant diet of crime-stories feeds that common disbelief af crime increasing..
and tv is no better – 60 minutes should be renamed ’60 crimes’…)
On the subject of crime there is good news and bad.
Reports by both the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that crime has decreased in the past 25 years in the U.S. Violent crime fell between 48% and 74% since 1993 – based on the agencies’ measures respectively.
Property crime has fallen sharply, too: the FBI estimates a drop of 48% between 1993 and 2016 and BJS reports 66%.
While the organizations have different parameters for measuring crime their results show the same conclusion: Americans are safer than they have been in a quarter century.
So why do Americans say crime is a bigger concern than ever before?
A study at Pew Research Center shows the juxtaposition between the reality of falling crime rates and Americans’ growing fear of crime.
‘In 17 Gallup surveys conducted since 1993 at least six in 10 Americans said there was more crime in the U.S. compared with the year before – despite the generally downward trend in national violent and property crime rates during much of that period’.