Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Garrison State

2012 Crime Statistics Released by FBI:

The FBI estimated that in 2012,  the number of violent crimes increased 0.7 percent, according to the figures released today. However, property crimes decreased 0.9 percent, marking the 10th straight year of declines for these offenses, collectively.

The 2012 statistics show that the estimated rate of violent crime was 386.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the property crime rate was 2,859.2 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. While the violent crime rate remained virtually unchanged when compared to the 2011 rate, the property crime rate declined 1.6 percent.
Nothing new or unexpected here. After all, the recession isn't really over yet.
A total of 18,290 city, county, state, university and college, tribal, and federal agencies participated in the UCR program in 2012. A summary of the statistics reported by these agencies, which are included in Crime in the United States, 2012, follows:
  • In 2012, there were an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes. The violent crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, and aggravated assault increased 1.1 percent, 0.2 percent, and 1.1 percent, respectively. However, the estimated number of robbery offenses declined 0.1 percent.
  • Nationwide, there were an estimated 8,975,438 property crimes. The estimated number of burglaries declined 3.7 percent in 2012 when compared to the 2011 figure. The estimated number of larceny-thefts remained unchanged, and motor vehicle thefts increased 0.6 percent.
  • Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses calculated at $15.5 billion in 2012.
  • The FBI estimated that agencies nationwide made about 12.2 million arrests, excluding traffic violations, in 2012. The arrest rate for violent crime was 166.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the rate for property crime was 528.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and non-negligent manslaughter was 3.5; forcible rape, 5.8; robbery, 33.1; and the aggravated assault, 123.9 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • By property crime offense, the arrest rate for burglary was 90.7; larceny-theft, 411.9; and motor vehicle theft, 21.9. The arrest rate for arson was 3.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In 2012, there were 14,006 law enforcement agencies that reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2012, they collectively employed 670,439 sworn officers and 285,883 civilians, a rate of 3.4 employees per 1,000 inhabitants.
But maybe the reason crime is so low is because there are so many people working in law enforcement today, an extension of Lasswell's "Garrison State". In addition to "abolishing unemployment psychologically," there is now a vast network of state repression in place to "hold in check those who defy authority."

The last statistic: only 14,000 of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies reported staffing levels, showing over a million law enforcement employees in the U.S. One could assume mathematically then that the additional 4,000 agencies would bring to the table roughly 285,000 additional employees (sworn and civilian).

It's not unsafe to say there are 1,250,000 people working in the "garrison state" of security (or repression, depending on your perspective) today in the U.S., a rate closer to 3 law enforcment employees per 1,000 citizens.

Throw in private security, the NSA, etc. and it's not unreasonable to say perhaps crime is so low and stays so low is because of the vast, digital, fish eye panopticon we are now living in.

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