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Crime in L.A. is down. Why? Think Early Bird Specials

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I expressed surprise a few weeks ago when the FBI released an initial report that crime in most cities was down. Many security professionals I had spoken with throughout the year, said that crime was up (and some were right), which they attributed to a poor economy. Well not so fast. Apparently the economy and crime are not inversely correlated after all. An article today in the Wall Street Journal revealed that violent crimes in Los Angeles (and other big cities) are down.

Violent crime in Los Angeles hit its lowest level in more than half a century last year, one of a growing number of U.S. cities reporting its streets were remarkably safe in 2009.

So what's causing crime to drop?

The answer: Age.

Yep, you read right: Experts believe the fall in violent crime is tied to the aging U.S. population.

"The graying of America is a significant factor," said James Alan Fox, Lipman Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University in Boston. "The largest and fastest growing segment of the population is people over 50. People over 50 also happen to be the age group that is the least likely to commit crimes. As the group grows, crime rates do decline."

So, you're telling me that people are just getting too old to commit crimes? I guess they're saving enough money at those Early Bird Specials that there's no need to go around robbing people anymore. Chalk one up to the Baby Boomers.