Is Carjacking America's Most Dangerous Urban Problem?

Urban crime problems have not grown in most big cities, except for murder rates in Chicago and some other crime trends that vary city to city. Milwaukee is America’s fifth most dangerous city, according to 24/7 Wall St., so perhaps the local perception of crime problems there can inform the analyses of problems elsewhere.

The residents of Milwaukee identified three crime problems as the most acute, according to the 2016 Public Service Safety Results Survey:

  1. The 3 greatest problems in the city as reported are: carjacking, residential burglary, and reckless driving. By gender, these 3 issues do not change. By race, African Americans replace residential burglary with gun violence in their top 3. By age group, those 29 and under replace residential burglary with muggings in their top 3.
  2. Overwhelmingly and in all categories, residents support adding foot and bicycle police officers in their neighborhoods.
  3. 70% of residents see crime as such a large problem in their neighborhoods, they have considered moving. However, those aged 60 and above and those aged 29 and below are significantly less inclined to move.
  4. The majority of respondents find the Police Department successful in solving crime, yet only 26% of respondents believe the Police Department is proactive in preventing crime.

Carjacking is not part of the FBI Uniform Crime Report, but car theft is. It is not hard to see why carjacking is more menacing.

The top three factors people believe lead to violent behavior and crime, they say, are poverty, unemployment, and drug trade. That was followed by education, racial inequality and mental health.

These are certainly not different from the list in any other large U.S. city.

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