A Gallup Poll into Americans’ assessments of the crime situation in the United States and their local area has returned alarming response.
In the poll conducted last month, Americans were asked, “Overall, how would you describe the problem of crime [in the United States/in the area where you live] — is it extremely serious, very serious, moderately serious, not too serious or not serious at all?”
Sixty-three percent of the respondents described the crime problem in the U.S. as either extreme or very serious.
This is up from 54 percent when last measured in 2021 and the highest in Gallup’s trend. The previous high of 60 percent expressing similar opinion was recorded in the initial survey held in 2000, as well as in 2010 and 2016.
But at the same time, only 17 percent say the crime problem in their local area is extremely or very serious.
Thirty six percent of the respondents describe the local crime problem as moderately serious, while 31 percent say not too serious, and 16 say not at all serious.
The latest results are based on Gallup’s annual Crime survey conducted between October 2 and 23. Americans have always, by a large margin, perceived the crime situation in the U.S. as worse than the crime situation in their local area, according to Gallup.
Public perceptions of the national and local crime problems have been worsening since 2020, when 51 percent thought the U.S. crime problem was extremely or very serious, and 10 percent said the same of the local crime problem.
More than three quarters of Americans – 77 percent – believe there is more crime in the U.S. than a year ago, and a majority, 55 percent, say the same about crime in their local area.
Americans’ deteriorating perceptions of the crime problem correspond with a recent increase in the percentage reporting that crime has affected their household. Overall, a combined 28 percent say they or someone in their household has been victimized in the past year by one of seven different crimes asked about in the survey, including vandalism, car theft, burglary, robbery, armed robbery, sexual assault and battery.
The survey report comes at a time the threat of mass shootings, hate-fueled violence and extremism is growing at a rapid pace in the United States.
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