Being a first-world country, the crime rate in the US is at a 47.70 in the crime rate index, ranking 50th in the world. The percentage is 5.30%. There are several factors that make a country or city dangerous to live in and the primary index is always the crime rate.
A crime doesn’t always have to be murder or first degree assault, it can be a misdemeanor, robbery, embezzlement and even verbal assault that is punishable by law. Crime in every country is punishable; the punishment depending on the magnitude of the crime. Even a simple misdemeanor can lead to a year in jail and a lump-sum amount of fines.
What is the definition of Crime?
The legal definition of crime is a violation of the law and order set under the Constitution; such a violation that harms someone or something directly or indirectly is a criminal act. Crime is referred to an offense that breaks the codes of human laws and harms the mental, emotional or physical capacity of someone- a victim.
Types of Crime
Like mentioned above, crime isn’t always a murder. There are several variations of crime that range from misdemeanors to first degree assaults, and here is a list of some of them.
- Arson: Crime of setting fire to a property on purpose resulting in property damage and losses for the victim.
- Burglary: Attempting and succeeding in robbing or causing harm to a building- usually someone’s house or office.
- Child abuse: Neglecting or harming a child in emotional, physical or sexual ways.
- Cyber crime: This refers to crimes committed online like web harassment and online fraud.
- Domestic abuse: Where one person physically or mentally assaults the other person in a household or toxic relationship.
- Fraud and embezzlement: This is when someone takes unlawful advantage of someone else by tricking or deceiving them- often happens to gain monetary benefits in dishonest ways.
- Hate crime: When someone hates a person and offends their identity or culture in a demeaning way. Common examples include homophobia and Islamophobia.
- Slavery: Slavery today may not be like it was centuries ago, but modern-day slavery refers to forcing labour and human trafficking.
- Murder or manslaughter: The act of killing someone with a deadly weapon.
- Rape or sexual assault: The act of raping someone and assaulting them, or getting close to them in a sexual way without their consent.
- Sexual harassment: Intimiditating someone by getting close to them sexually.
- Stalking: Unwanted attention that makes you feel fearful in public places or makes you feel harassed is also a crime.
- Terrorism: An unexpected attack to entice fear and insecurity among the public.
Examples of Crime
State of Missouri v. Celia
One very old case of 1855 was reported in Missouri, State of Missouri v. Celia, a Slave which was a case where a black slave girl, Celia was accused of murdering her owner, Robert Newsom. The case was opened when she confessed that she had in fact killed her because he had raped her, and made her pregnant numerous times over the course of five years. Even after begging Newsom to leave her alone, he wouldn’t do so and continued to rape her every night when the rest of the family went to sleep.
One night Celia attacked him with a stick to defend herself and killed him. She then spent the night crushing his bones and burning his body. The case was sent to trial where she was convicted of first degree murder by a jury of twelve white men, and was hanged in the December of 1855.
Murders of Julie and Robin Kerry
In 1991, Julie and Robin Kerry were raped and murdered by four men on the Chain of Rocks Bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. The men also attempted to murder the sisters’ cousin.
Kidnapping of Jaycee Dudard
The kidnapping of Jaycee Dudard is another famous criminal case that was highlighted. An 11 year old girl Jaycee was abducted from a school bus stop in1991, in Meyers, California. For 18 years Jaycee was held captive, gave birth to two daughters before an investigation that led to her reappearance in 2009. The perpetrator couple, and former sex offender, Phillip Garrido and Nancy Garrido pled guilty to their crimes of kidnapping, rape and holding a minor hostage and were given life-long imprisonment.
The US government awarded $20m to Jaycee’s family in 2010, and in 2011 she wrote a book ‘A Stolen Life’, which was a memoir about her 18 years in captivity and missed rescue opportunities during that time.
The sexual abuse accusations of Harvey Weinstein is another example of a criminal offense by a powerful film producer. Over 80 women accused him of rape and sexual assault over his tenure of 30 years, where he abused and misused lots of women because of his influential position in the industry. This led to his company retirement and suspension from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and other professional associations, and in 2020 he was found guilty of rape and criminal sexual acts, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Not just United States, but the world is full of famous criminal cases or rape and murder and sexual assault, where if convicted, the punishment has been severe and often death parole- as it should be.
What is the Most Dangerous City in the United States?
According to research, this is a list of the most dangerous cities in the United States:
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Wichita, Kansas
- Lubbock, Texas
- Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Michigan
- Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington
- Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
- Corpus Christi, Texas
- Mobile, Alabama
|2020 rank||Metro area||Metro population||Violent crime per 1,000||Property crime per 1,000||2019 rank|
|7||Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA||558,298||4.4||43.8||New|
|8||Shreveport-Bossier City, LA||397,965||6.0||37.4||New|
|9||Corpus Christi, TX||430,731||7.0||33.7||32|
Note: Sample figures have been extracted online, courtesy of SafeWise.
Not just the United States, but there are several other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia that have been identified as the most dangerous countries in the world, with cities that have the highest crime rate.
There has always been debate about how to control such rising crimes that occur often due to poverty, unemployment or hatred towards another in cases of aggravated assault. The justice system needs to be strengthened to the point where punishment for such crimes is severe and where every criminal is caught and punished. This is the only way the crime rate of cities and countries can be controlled to make it safe for people to live in.