Instructors who teach martial arts and self-defense love to make an argument for their services by proclaiming, “Well, the crime rate is going up.”
The evidence for this argument usually quickly follows, with the person saying something to the effect of, “Look at all the reports in the media.”
If you’ve heard this from anybody recently, at least in central Illinois, they’d be right if they were referring to the past year.
However, my analysis suggests that crime has declined significantly in Peoria in the past 15 years.
Crime From 2013-2014 Is Up 7 Percent
Murder, robbery, and aggravated assault and battery are crimes that are down from year to year, while criminal sexual assault and are up.
A Downward Trend in Crime Since 1999
Total person crimes are down 8 percent year over year and down approximately 30 percent since 1999.
Total property crimes, though up 9 percent from in 2014, are down about 47 percent since 1999.
Combined, total person and property crimes are up 7 percent from 2013-2014, but are down about 45 percent since 1999.
Peoria’s Decline in Crime Is In Line With The State’s and The Nation’s
Statewide, crime estimates from the FBI show that Illinois has also seen a downward trend between 1999 and 2012, the most recent year for which estimates are available.
In Illinois, the reported incidents of violent crime has declined from approximately 83,000 reports to 53,000. What’s more, the violent crime rate per 100,000 people has declined from about 690 to 415.
The violent crime estimates nationwide has declined, too, from approximately 1.4 million in 1999 to 1.2 million in 2012. This equates to a decline from about 523 to 387 incidents per 100,000 people.
So the next time you hear a martial arts instructor say that crime is going up, do your homework and check the stats.
I think it’s a great idea to learn how to protect yourself, but I think instructors should be ashamed of themselves trying to gain business with fear mongering.