More than half of Americans say they are greatly worried about crime, elevating the issue as second only to inflation and the economy, according to a new poll.
The Gallup poll conducted last month found that 53 percent personally worry a ‘great deal’ about crime. A total of 80 percent said they worry about crime either ‘a great deal’ or a ‘fair amount’, the most since 2008.
The findings come as crime rates soar and violent incidents across the country stun the nation, from the gang shootout in Sacramento that left six dead last weekend to the 12-year-old boy who was shot dead on a Brooklyn sidewalk a week ago.
Though nationwide crime stats for last year have yet to be released, one preliminary study of 22 cities found that the number of murders rose 5 percent in 2021 from the prior year.
Rising crime – and increasing concern about the issue – could spell trouble for Democrats in the key midterm elections, with Republicans likely to press their advantage by reminding voters of the progressive ‘defund the police’ rallying cry.
A Gallup poll conducted last month found that 53 percent personally worry a ‘great deal’ about crime, the most since 2016
Along party lines, 66 percent of Republicans said they worried about crime a great deal, versus just 40 percent of Democrats
The aftermath of an NYC subway stabbing is seen earlier this week in Manhattan
Gallup has tracked concerns about crime since 2001, when a record-high 62 percent expressed a great deal of worry about the issue.
Fears about crime were lowest in 2014 when just 39 percent said they worried a great deal.
The new poll shows that crime is now near the top of the list of 14 national concerns, behind only inflation and the economy, and on par with hunger and homelessness.
The latest poll found that significantly more women (58 percent) were greatly concerned about crime than men (48 percent).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, city dwellers were the most concerned, with 58 percent expressing great concern about crime, versus 46 percent of suburban residents and 51 percent of rural Americans.
There was less variation across U.S. regions, as majorities of those in the East, Midwest and South say they worry a great deal about crime, while slightly fewer Westerners do.
Along party lines, 66 percent of Republicans said they worried about crime a great deal, versus just 40 percent of Democrats.
Police investigators stand at a command post in Inglewood, California in January after several were killed when multiple shooters opened fire at a house party near Los Angeles
Police officers lift perimeter tape at the scene of a multiple shooting in the 700 block of North Trumbull Avenue in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago
Chicago police superintendent David Brown is seen addressing recent fatal shootings
Women have been consistently more worried than men about crime over the course of the 21 years of data, Gallup says. The differences in the other subgroups examined have been more variable.
Looking specifically at party identification, Democrats were generally more likely than Republicans to say they worried a great deal about crime between 2001 and 2015.
However, in 2016 and 2017, Republicans’ worry outpaced Democrats’ for the first time.
By the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency, partisan concerns swapped again, with Democratic concern increasing and Republican concern declining.
But in 2019, Democrats’ worry receded and has remained below 50 percent since.
Meanwhile, Republicans’ worry about crime has risen sharply since President Joe Biden took office, including an eight-point increase this year alone.
In the early months of 2022, many major cities have continued to see troubling crime rate trends.
In New York, where Mayor Eric Adams took office in January on a vow to crack down on crime, shootings and assaults have only increased.
Investigators work the crime scene of the fatal shooting of a 61 year old woman in the Bronx
Major crimes in New York City are up 44 percent so far this year from the same period in 2021, with felony assault up 19 percent and robberies rising 47 percent, the latest NYPD data show.
Although murders in NYC have ticked down 9 percent, other crimes are well up, with shooting incidents rising 14 percent, burglary up 31 percent, and grand larceny auto soaring 81 percent.
‘This is not what New Yorkers expect or deserve, and we will not stand for it,’ NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said at a Wednesday press conference about the latest troubling data.
‘It’s clear what we are confronting: A perception among criminals that there are no consequences, even for serious crime. We need tangible changes,’ added Sewell.
One recent poll found 59 percent of New Yorkers now say they would be better off leaving the city, with crime listed as the top reason.
Crime was the leading issue on voters’ minds, with 41 percent of respondents saying public safety was the most pressing issue, while 19 percent cited inflation and the high cost of living in New York.
In Chicago, homicides are down almost 7 percent compared to last year, and shootings have dropped 15 percent, though other crimes like carjackings are up, according to WLS-TV.
Robberies in Chicago are up 11 percent, burglaries are up 36 percent, motor vehicle thefts are up 43 percent and thefts are up 70 percent. Aggravated batteries are up 9 percent and sexual assaults 3 percent.
Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon is already on track to surpass last year’s record-breaking homicide rate with murders up 10 percent.
The liberal Pacific Northwest bastion topped off February with 22 murders so far this year – up from the 19 in 2021 – and is on track to hit around 130 by December, according to the Oregonian.
The city, which slashed its police budget in the wake of protests over George Floyd ‘s murder, set a record last year with 92 homicides – the highest since there were 70 homicides in 1987.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Security is not allowed to touch me’: Shameless Manhattan shoplifter ‘Jackie’ accuses Duane Reade security guard of ‘manhandling’ her when she stole fabric softener
A brazen Manhattan shoplifter has claimed a security guard at a Duane Reade assaulted her when he stopped her from walking out of the store with fabric softener – as she details her stealing exploits across the city.
The shoplifter, identifying herself as ‘Jackie’, gave an interview outside the store on 14th Street in Union Square on Wednesday after her clash with security in the store, claiming they dragged her into a back room and issued her with a notice banning her from all the chain’s stores across the state.
Jackie spoke openly about her attempts to steal the fabric softener to do her laundry and claims when the security guard stopped her at the door, she complied and handed over the merchandise before trying to leave the store.
‘He put his hands on me and pulled me back into the store and told me I had to go back in,’ she says. ‘They’re not allowed to touch you.’
‘They manhandled me. They dragged me into the store. They actually cut my purse off of me with a box cutter.’
A shoplifter identifying herself as Jackie claimed a Manhattan Duane Reade security guard tried to assault her when she attempted to walkout with stolen fabric softener on Wednesday
Jackie said she returned the item when she was caught at the door and walked out when the guard allegedly grabbed her back into the store. Jackie and her boyfriend (center) are pictured arguing with security personnel outside the Duane Reade store
After Jackie finishes her interview, she again goes up to the store’s security team with her boyfriend to continue to argue that what the guard did was illegal.
The extraordinary interview comes as businesses across New York continue to suffer from rampant shoplifting. Duane Reade has been the target of a series of robberies by teenage gangs since February.
Another chemist chain, CVS Pharmacy, claims shoplifting has increased by 300 percent since the start of the pandemic began.
Jackie, who admitted to being arrested for shoplifting once before when she was a teenager, claimed what the security guard allegedly did was not the norm when dealing with shoplifters.
Walgreens, which owns Duane Reade, did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Although she claims security guards aren’t allowed to touch shoplifters, New York law allows security guards to detain suspected shoplifters if there is reasonable belief they’ve stolen items from the store.
She claimed she ‘dragged in’ and that her purse was cut open as the guard gave her a notice (pictured) that she was banned from all Duane Reade stores in New York
The incident took place at the Duane Reade on 14th Street in Union Square. Like a lot of stores and pharmacies in the city, the company has suffered from a string of ongoing thefts
Jackie, however, claims she was innocent because she said she returned the stolen merchandise and was walking out when the guard detained her.
She also claims that shoplifting isn’t as easy as it seems.
‘Taking stuff is hard,’ she said. ‘Whenever you try to steal something, it’s a 50/50 shot that you’ll get caught. But usually, you get caught.’
Jackie also said the stores only have themselves to blame for rampant shoplifting seen throughout New York City – and said shoplifters are the real victims.
‘It’s probably because they put their hands on the guy and they’re trying to cover themselves in some way,’ she said when asked why her shoplifting attempt failed when so many others have been pictured walking out pharmacies with loads of goods.