Why Does It Matter?
Violent crime is traumatic for the victim, and its ripples are felt throughout the whole community.
Violent crime rates provide insight into the prevalence of a community’s most serious crimes and the level of safety within it. When crime rates are at all-time highs, the extensive losses can create a lasting negative impact on a community, including its sense of safety. Violent crime has a ripple effect on the mental health of those who have lost someone or those who have experienced the crime. Children may be left without their mother or father, or a parent without their child. We have local schools where the majority of children have known someone who has lost their life to a violent crime. Residents who live in neighborhoods where violent criminal acts occur can often feel reluctant to let their children play outside, or have fears about even stepping outside of their own homes, all contributing to a general feeling of insecurity throughout a neighborhood.
Not only does violent crime affect our community as a whole, it influences the perception of safety throughout different neighborhoods. Both the causes and consequences of violent crime run deep, often making it a challenging issue for a community to address head on.
Clearances rates – calculated by dividing the number of crimes where someone is charged for a crime by the total number of recorded crimes – also may provide additional insight into violent crime trends. Solving a violent crime requires the participation of both law enforcement and the community, so clearance rates can reveal the level to which community members feel safe to talk to the police or testify in a courtroom about crimes they may have witnessed. The Omaha Police Department homicide clearance rate was 70% in 2015. Clearance rates can be a best proxy for measuring police-community relationships.