TKC EXCLUSIVE MUST READ!!! DR. ERNEST EVANS: KANSAS CITY DEADLY CRIME SPIKE PERSISTS AMID TENSE POLITICAL CLIMATE!!!
Dr. Ernest Evans is a renowned Kansas City expert on the topic of crime and stats and today we are grateful for his insight into the ongoing slaughter on local streets.
Kansas City's Crime Situation in a National Context
Sherlock Holmes once said to Dr. Watson: "Watson, it is a capital mistake to theorize without data." The national debate on crime, race and policing in the past two years has been notably lacking in much hard data, so fortunately the FBI has just released the Uniform Crime Report for 2015. This report is a compilation of the nation's crime statistics based on data submitted by every police department in the nation.
This 2015 UCR, together with the 2014 UCR. documents some definite trends in crime in the past two years. In the first six months of 2014 homicides in the US declined 6%--but in the last six months of 2014 they rose 5%. In the first six months of 2015 homicides rose about 6%--but for calendar year 2015 as a whole there was almost an 11% increase in homicides; this was the largest one year change in homicide statistics since the large increase in 1968 over the 1967 homicide totals.
And, this increase in homicides nationally appears to be continuing into 2016--while some cities have seen declines in homicide totals in 2016 most have not--as of today, it looks like homicides will be up 13-14% in 2016 over 2015.
Kansas City, Missouri's homicide statistics for the past two years have closely followed these national patterns. In the first eight months of 2014 there were 41 homicides in KCMO--one of the lowest rates since the early 1960s. However, in the last four months of 2014 there were again 41 homicides in KCMO. In all of 2014 there were 82 homicides in KCMO--but in 2015 there were 111. And, so far in 2016 there have been 88 homicides in KCMO--compared to 76 at this time in 2015.
The important fact to be noted here is that crime trends, whether up or down, tend to be largely determined by national social and political factors--that there is only a limited amount officials at the local level can do to lower crime rates. That is not to say that everything that the authorities in KCMO are doing with respect to crime is irrelevant--but it is to say that there is only so much that they can do.