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Increase in murder cases in America in 2020, Kovid-19 is also being considered as a reason

(Justin Nix, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Nebraska Omaha)

Omaha (USA), Sep 28 (The Conversation) There has been a 30 percent increase in murder cases in the US in 2020. This has been revealed in the data released by the FBI on September 27, 2021. The statistics show a roughly uniform increase in the homicide rate across the US.

The fact is that large cities, small towns, suburbs and rural areas have seen a similar increase in murder cases. This suggests that nationwide incidents have been the key factor behind the increase.

An obvious reason for the increase in such cases in the year 2020 is believed to be the Kovid-19 pandemic. But being a criminologist, I know that murder rates are influenced by many factors. What happened in the year 2020 is a cycle of various events that created ideal conditions for an increase in murders.

stress and lack of cooperation

One effect of Kovid-19 was probably that during this time people came under psychological and financial pressure. Criminologists have long pointed to a relationship between stress and criminal behavior.

Frustration and resentment can increase due to tensions such as unemployment, loneliness and uncertainty about the future. People struggling with these negative emotions are more vulnerable to turning to guilt. Previous studies show how financial stress and lack of social support together affect the overall homicide rate.

But the pandemic was not the only major event of 2020 to have increased murder rates. In May of the same year, a black man George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis.

The killing of Floyd and the mass protests that followed put a crisis on the legitimacy of the police. In short, this meant that citizens’ confidence in the police was reduced.


‘Ferguson Effect’

After the murder of Floyd, trust in the police decreased dramatically, and the number of cases of the general public reporting crimes began to decline. People felt that by giving information about such cases, they too should not get caught in the mess of the criminal justice system. In the US, 911 is called to inform about the crime.

Indeed, research by Desmond Ang at Harvard University shows that after Floyd’s death, 911 calls dropped significantly in the eight cities he and his colleagues studied.

The Ferguson effect is also considered one of the reasons for the increase in murder cases in America. In 2014, a white police officer killed black man Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, US, but the court did not find the police officer accused of the shooting, reducing people’s trust in the police and reporting the crime. cases decreased. This raised the spirits of the criminals and increased the crime.

common gun

One of the reasons for the increase in murder cases in America is also believed to be easy access to guns. There is also evidence that there has been an increase in gun acquisition cases in 2020.

Crime analyst Jeff Asher and data scientist Rob Arthur found that in 10 cities, although police made fewer arrests in 2020, the number of gun seizures increased. This shows that in 2020 more people were holding guns illegally. Research has long held that there is a significant link between easy access to guns and high homicide rates.

(The Conversation) Joheb Dileep



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