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Tag: violent crime

FBI Details How Shutdown Is Impeding Investigations of Terrorism, Violent Crime, Child Trafficking

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The government shutdown is hindering the FBI’s investigations of terrorism, child trafficking and violent crimes, according to a report issued Tuesday by a group representing the bureau’s 13,000 special agents.

The 72-page report, Voices from the Field, describes how agents are being hampered by a shutdown that has no end in sight.

The spending freeze has left the bureau with no money for confidential informants, witnesses at criminal trials, translators, paralegals and other support staff. Agents also are working without pay.

“The shutdown has eliminated any ability to operate,” an unnamed agent who works on counterintelligence investigations said in the report. “The fear is our enemies know they can run freely.”

Another unnamed agent said the bureau has been unable to help crack down on violent gangs.

“I currently investigate a particularly violent street gang,” an agent from the FBI’s central region said in the report. “I have had to tell our local law enforcement partners that I cannot assist in funding these operations because my field office does not have money. This means that the one chance we may have to take down several violent individuals may pass us by and we may not get the chance again.”

Without money for confidential informants, agents are at risk of “losing them and the information they provide forever,” an agent said in the report.

“It’s not a switch that we can turn on and off.”

New York Times: Be Careful to Read Too Much into FBI Crime Report

police lightsBy Editorial Board
New York Times

Over the last several decades, whenever there has been a reported increase in violent crime numbers, there have been people eager to seize on the statistics and argue, as the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has, that crime is “out of control.”

The opportunity arose again on Monday, when the F.B.I. released its annual snapshot of crime nationwide in 2015, showing that there was a 10.8 percent increase in the number of murders and nonnegligent manslaughter cases over 2014. The number of violent crimes — which the report defines as murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and assault — was up almost 4 percent, while the number of property crimes, such as burglary and larceny, was down 2.6 percent.

These are troubling figures, and they demand a level-headed, targeted response. But any single data point must be considered against the broader trend of declining crime rates: In fact, 2015 was the thirdsafest year in more than four decades. And the number of violent crimes was 16.5 percent below the 2006 level.

The surge in killings was fueled by street violence in a handful of major cities. While murder rates rose significantly in 25 of the 100 largest cities in 2015, an analysis by The Timesfound that half of the increase in killings in big cities came from just seven — Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville and Washington — where most of the victims were young African-American males. Guns were used in nearly three-quarters of the 15,696 homicides in 2015.

Unfortunately, the debate over how best to fight crime is always a combustible one, so even relatively small changes in crime rates can lead to big and often destructive changes in law and policy, like mandatory-minimum prison sentences or stop-and-frisk policing. In the name of greater public safety, policies like these have done immense damage to minority communities around the country, and particularly to the young black and Latino men who have borne their brunt, even as evidence shows that they do little if anything to reduce crime.

To read more click here. 

FBI’s Annual Report Expected to Show Increase in Violent Crime in Some Big Cities

crime sceneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s annual crime report is expected to show an increase in violent crime in some big cities in 2015.

Those cities include Chicago, Washington D.C. and Baltimore.

Despite the increase, “the violent crime rate has remained far below peak levels of the early 1990s,” Reuters reports, citing experts.

The news comes on the day of the first presidential debate.

Republican Donald Trump has falsely claimed violent crime has reached dangerous new levels, but any increase could be used as political football. Trump has called for more aggressive policing tactics, such as “stop-and-frisk.”

Violent Crime Increased Nationwide in First Half of 2015, FBI Reports

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Violent crimes in the U.S. increased in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary FBI data.

Local law enforcement reported to the bureau a 1.7% increase in violent crimes in the first six months of 2015. Murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery rose nationwide, while arson and burglary declined.

“While the overall violent crime rates remain historically low, and it is too early to draw any long-term conclusions, the Justice Department is acutely focused on the increases being experienced in some communities of the country,” Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush told CBS News. “While the overall violent crime rates remain historically low, and it is too early to draw any long-term conclusions, the Justice Department is acutely focused on the increases being experienced in some communities of the country,” said Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush.

Despite the increase, the violent crime rate is still far below what it was 20 years ago.

Violent Crime Declined Modestly Nationwide, FBI Report Says

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Violent crime dropped nationwide in 2014, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report.

While the .2% decline is modest, the report shows fewer murders than any year since 2009. Robbery, burglary, theft and arson also have declined, CNN reports. 

Some cities, however, saw spikes in murders: Baltimore, Milwaukee and Washington.

“We have witnessed a remarkable drop in crime since the 1980’s — both violent crime and crime overall. Entire cities have been transformed, unlocking tremendous potential and releasing a wave of prosperity,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates said, adding that “even though crime is trending downward in most places, we are seeing pockets of rising violence in various locations across the country.”

FBI-Assembled ‘Hybrid Task Force’ to Tackle Violent Crime in St. Louis

st. louis mapBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

This isn’t your normal task force.

In fact, the FBI is calling it the Hybrid Task Force, and its goal is to pursue drug dealers and violent criminals, KMOX reports. 

“The task force has two focuses,” St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said. “One is an interdiction piece that long term investigation to try and interrupt some of the drugs that are coming to town. And the other is a more rapid response to violence.”

Dotson credited the FBI for assembling the resources to make the team possible.

The members come from an impressive array of agencies – FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Attorney’s Office and several local prosecutors.

The task force all be formally introduced on July 20.

FBI Adds 6 Agents to Indianapolis Office to Fight Violent Crime

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is adding agents to its Indianapolis office to help fight violent crime, Fox 59 reports.

Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott, who said he has “a lot of confidence and true hope for our community here in Indianapolis” has added six agent to investigate gang activities and violent crimes.

“We’ve increased the number of agents that work on the Safe Streets Task Force.  Instead of one squad, we have two squads,” said Abbott.

“The ability to bring federal prosecution to the table is a huge help, because it usually includes a much stiffer penalty,” said Abbott.

Other priorities include terrorism and cyber crime, Abbott said.

FBI Director Comey Pledges to Help St. Louis Crack Down on Violent Crime

FBI Director James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While visiting the bureau’s St. Louis office, FBI Director James Comey pledged to help police chiefs in the region combat violent crime, St. Louis Public Radio reports.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson asked for help with chronic gun offenders.

“Missouri, in my opinion, has some of the more lax gun laws of all the 50 states,” Dotson said.  “So when we encounter individuals that consistently use fire arms to commit crimes, can the FBI help us develop cases that we can take to the U.S. attorney and get prosecution on a different level and keep the community safe?”

Comey said the field office plans to help.

Comey was visiting the office as part of a planned tour of all 56 of the agency’s field offices.

The visits, he said, are used to “both learn about how it’s going and to talk to my partners, especially to say what are we doing well here, what can we do differently; are there things I can take from this community and try to spread elsewhere.”