Crime spikes in several US cities confound criminologists
Al Jazeera - 08/24/2015
James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston, is dismissive of the half-year statistics. “The shorter the window, the more volatile the numbers,” he said. “Six-month homicide numbers are especially unreliable.”
He likens it to a 100-point spike in the stock market on one day. “It doesn’t say anything. … You really shouldn’t make much at all about a one-year change, especially when it’s a six-month window.”
Fox warns against fueling the contagion of fear and stressed that the point-in-time numbers should be kept in historical context. In New York City, for example, the number of murders for the first half of the year is 11 percent higher than the year before but more than 30 percent lower than five years earlier.