In researching the crime rates of Connecticut and other states, I see that there has been a significant rise in crime during the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s (The Disaster Center, 2011). Luckily, last year, we have been able to see crime rates reduced to those not seen since 1967.
The probability of being involved in a murder or assault, whether victim or perpetrator, is characterized by a propensity for violence; therefore, the advances in medicine, especially those of the emergency medical services, contribute by allowing these people to survive an initial act allowing them to reoffend (Wilson & Herrnstein, 1998). But what was contributing to the base increase in violent turpitude in the first place? Wilson and Herrnstein (1998) posit that changes in child-rearing focii (from moral development towards personality development) have changed dramatically from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. No more are lessons in character, but more attention is now paid on enjoyment.
Luckily, my community is far removed from crime. Woodstock, Connecticut, has one of the lowest crime rates in the state; however, Connecticut, itself, does have problem areas, which are the typical urban centers. According to the Connecticut State Police Crime Analysis Unit (2010) Uniform Crime Reports database query tool, Woodstock, during 2009, has had only 25 index crimes (e.g. murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft) with only two violent crimes (aggravated assault and robbery). The remainder 23 crimes were burglary (11), larceny (10), and motor vehicle theft (2). A website by CLRChoice, Inc. (2010) that details crime risk shows the following indices compared to the national risk average (100): total crime risk (Woodstock: 2, Connecticut: 64), murder risk (Woodstock: 5, Connecticut: 49), rape risk (Woodstock: 8, Connecticut: 63), robbery risk (Woodstock: 4, Connecticut: 77), assault risk (Woodstock: 2, Connecticut: 49), burglary risk (Woodstock: 1, Connecticut: 51), larceny risk (Woodstock: 2, Connecticut: 74), and motor vehicle theft risk (Woodstock: 2, Connecticut: 71).
Considering the above statistics, I find the crime to have the most impact on my community is burglary. The psychological impacts of burglary are not unlike those related to other violent crimes, such as rape or assault, and can last up to 10 weeks after the initial incident (Blanco, 2010; Maguire, 1980). For the residents of Woodstock, the personal impact would be significant. Woodstock is still considered by many a sleepy community where door locks are optional. Whenever there is a burglary in the area, however, residents tend to be more vigilant. Incidently, my personal observation is that there are more firearms per capita in Woodstock than in most other areas of Connecticut. This could potentially create an issue, but so far it has not.
Woodstock does not have a police department and is patrolled solely by the Connecticut State Police. Whenever a crime of significance occurs in Woodstock, the police must take resources away from other areas of the state in order to respond and investigate the crime. This puts a burden on law enforcement in the community and surrounding communities.
Crimes of all types can have serious consequences not only for the involved parties but those fairly removed from the crimes (family, friends, etc.); however, burglary, unlike murder or assault that tend to be focused on a specific victim, impacts whole communities and can have far reaching effects that begin to harm the fabric of those communities.
Blanco, A. (2010, February 5). The psychological effects of home burglary. Security World News. Retrieved on October 18, 2011, from http://www.securityworldnews.com/2010/02/05/the-psychological-effects-of-home-burglary-3/
CLRChoice, Inc. (2010). Woodstock crime rates indexes. Retrieved on October 18, 2011, from http://www.clrsearch.com/Woodstock_Demographics/CT/Crime-Rate
Connecticut State Police, Crime Analysis Unit. (2010). Connecticut Uniform Crime Reports [Data]. Retrieved on October 18, 2011, from http://www.dpsdata.ct.gov
The Disaster Center. (2011). U.S. crime statistics: total and by state (1960-2007). Retrieved from http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/
Maguire, M. (1980). The impact of burglary upon victims. British Journal of Criminology, 20(3), 261-275. Retrieved from http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/
Wilson, J. Q. & Herrnstein, R. J. (1998). Crime & human nature: The definitive study of the causes of crime (First Free Press paperback ed.). New York, NY: The Free Press.