Never Mind Madoff, Crime Is Going Down
It may be hard to tell from reading the business pages of your local newspaper, but the F.B.I. assures us that crime fell last year.
Never mind that Conrad Black started his six-year prison sentence for fraud, an oil-services company was blamed for corrupting Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, and Bernard Madoff said he fleeced investors of $50 billion with his Guinness-worthy Ponzi scheme.
In its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, the F.B.I. says that both violent and property crimes grew less common in the first half of last year compared with the same period in 2007.
Violent crime -- murder, rape, robbery, and assault -- declined 3.5 percent, while property crimes -- burglary, larceny, car theft, and arson -- fell 2.5 percent. (Full tables are available here.)
Ah, perhaps there's the rub: the G-men don't count white-collar crime in their overall statistics. In giving the nation a snapshot of its crime problem, the F.B.I. says it focuses on the eight crimes listed above "because they are serious crimes that occur most frequently and come to the attention of state and local law enforcement most often."