Increase in Crime Expected During Economic Crisis


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

With the recession looming, some have speculated that the bad economy may be reflected in higher crime rates, according to Zoe Mentel , a policy analyst with with the Justice Department’s COPS Office.

While a causal relationship between the economy and overall crime rates is highly debatable, the nation’s current economic situation will likely affect certain types of crime that the law enforcement community must be prepared to confront.

For example, law enforcement agencies should take steps to counteract increases in crimes affected by the housing and foreclosure crisis. The incidence of mortgage fraud has increased steadily during the past few years, a trend which continues even with the decline in subprime lending. The Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI) reported a 45 percent increase in mortgage fraud in the second quarter of 2008, compared to the same period the year before, claimed Mentel in a COPS report.

Not surprisingly, the top three mortgage fraud states—Florida, California, and Illinois—also have high foreclosure rates. Increases in foreclosures also mean increases in vacant properties, which create opportunities for a variety of crimes, such as property theft, graffiti, and drug activity.

The COPS Office recently held three conference calls to address crimes related to the foreclosure crisis. Local and federal law enforcement practitioners, academics, members of private industry, and government officials participated in the conference calls to discuss mortgage fraud, vacant properties, and metal theft. In all three calls, experts from the field stressed the importance of educating the community to prevent these crimes and of building strong partnerships among law enforcement, private industry, community members, and other municipal agencies.

Law enforcement should also be prepared for a potential increase in incidents of domestic violence. In a recent interview, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor David Kennedy noted the connection between worsening economies and increases in domestic violence.

A research brief by the National Institute of Justice has also shown that domestic violence “occurs more in households facing economic distress” and suggests that law enforcement agencies concentrate specifically on disadvantaged neighborhoods, where rates of domestic violence are likely to be higher.



Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the new editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.

He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

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