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In the news: Austin offers take for crime stats story

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Associate Prof. Andrew Austin offered some context for a front-page story on crime statistics in Monday’s (Aug. 5) Green Bay Press-Gazette. The story shows a rise in violent crime in Green Bay, indicating a 17 percent increase from 2011 to 2012. The incidence of property crimes increased 15 percent during the same period, the paper reported, citing preliminary uniform crime report statistics recently released by the FBI. The data’s accuracy depends on those who report crime to police, Austin said, and a large amount of property crime goes unreported. He added that the rise is likely due to the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009, as it typically takes a few years for a bad economy to impact crime rates. “What you’re seeing here is the lag effect of that economic downturn,” said Austin, Democracy and Justice Studies, “ — and Green Bay felt it.” Read story.

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