Despite the images sometimes seen in the media, crime in the United States follows some relatively predictable patterns. For example, in any given year, there will be much more property crime than violent crime, and men will be arrested more than women. While crime is not a new phenomenon, the definition of what constitutes a crime, and the salience of certain crimes, changes with policy shifts and public opinions. Law enforcement and the public's concern over street crime means that official data collected by police and government ...

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