Making Sense of Crime Statistics

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When one looks at statistics on crime rates, at first it might seem a simple affair to make sense of them and draw conclusions from them. However, the truth is these numbers are just data and only inform rather than conclude.

Take recent statistics on crime in Colorado. The number of rapes reported in the state saw an increase of forty-one percent from 2012-2013, with 2,055 in 2012 and 2,903 in 2013. While more rapes may be occurring behind those numbers, there were also during that time the inclusions of two new types of rape as classified by the state legal system.

Although Colorado’s crime rate has increased slightly in recent times, overall crime is at a record low in both the state and the nation as examined in the long term. Some think it is possible that crime may be sitting in a “bottom pocket” and we are simply seeing a slight fluctuation in the low.

The legalization of marijuana in the state is believed by some to be the underlying cause of the increases, however others note that scientific work done on the subject shows very little correlation between marijuana and crime.

Source: Colorado Public Radio
http://www.cpr.org/news/story/how-should-we-interpret-bump-colo-crime-rate-we-don-t-know