Nebraska Crime Commission Shows Violent Crime Down, Despite FBI Figures Showing Otherwise
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The FBI has dropped a new crime reporting dashboard showing violent crime is on the rise in the United States and Nebraska, including a record 29% increase in homicides across the country.
Data shows violent crime in Nebraska is up 9%, but the Nebraska Crime Commission, which reports a different number for 2020, said FBI data is not complete because not enough agencies are reporting to them. and, therefore, inaccurate.
But a 10/11 NOW survey shows many locals believe crime is on the rise. Out of 363 respondents, 76% believe that crime is increasing. Twenty percent think crime has stayed the same and 4% think crime is down.
University of Nebraska Omaha professor Leah Butler, who studies public opinion, said this study is not unique.
“A 2020 Pew Research survey found that 78%, a large majority, of Americans believe crime is getting worse nationwide and almost 40% think it is increasing in their area,” Leah Butler said , professor at the UN.
Data shows this is not the case in Nebraska or Lincoln.
Lincoln Police Department data shows violent crime is down 11% in 2021 from the five-year average.
As to why people think otherwise, Butler said it has a lot to do with media coverage.
“People watch it, hear about crimes and the more they hear about it the more they think it’s going on,” Butler said.
She also said social media plays a role.
“Especially if you follow your local police department or accounts like Omaha Scanner or Lincoln Scanner,” Butler said.
Butler said the best way to combat this misconception is to share what’s really going on and check the statistics available.
“To help make sure people are aware of the trends that are really happening,” she said.
The crimes that have declined the most in Lincoln are shoplifting, burglary, theft and rape.
Those on the rise are medical theft, vandalism and domestic violence.
Nebraska keeps track of the number of law enforcement agencies that report statistics to the NIBRS, which is where the FBI obtains its data. In 2020, on average 62% of agencies reported each month. The FBI website shows that their statistics reflect 52% of the population.
All Lancaster County law enforcement agencies, including the Lincoln Police Department, Lancaster County Sheriff‘s Office and the UNLPD reported their data throughout the year.
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