Crime Analysis Project

Analysis of Aggravated Crimes in Washington D.C

Washington, DC, is the capital city of U.S. Washington DC is a compact city on the Potomac River, bordering the states of Maryland and Virginia.  The city is defined by unique neoclassical monuments that include the buildings (White, 2014). The iconic buildings that house the federal government’s three branches which are; The Capitol, White House, and Supreme Court (White, 2014). In addition, it is home to iconic museums and performing-arts venues such as the Kennedy Center (White, 2014).

The commonly occurring problem in Washington DC is the aggravated assault as per the statistics by the Metropol police department. According to their records 2019, the annual aggravated crime has been reducing between the years 2017 to 2018 (Kaplan, 2019). FBI department estimated that there were 368.9 violent crimes for every 100,000 Americans in the two years (Kaplan, 2019). In the D.C. area, the violent crime rate was lower than the national rate in the year 2018, 293.3 per 100,000 residents (Kaplan, 2019). The crimes included murders and non-negligent manslaughters. The murder rate in the D.C. area was 5.9 per 100,000 people, higher than the national rate of 5.0 (Kaplan, 2019). The Metropolitan Police Department has tried to reduce the crimes in the city by use of crime emergencies whereby they do follow the officer schedules and instead deploy more police to areas that prone to crime (White, 2014). However, the measure has been a short term solution, whereby the crimes reduce and then escalate for some time. Again, the Metropolitan Police Department had also designed a program whereby there would be police checkpoints in areas with high crime rates. At the checkpoints, the police would turn away individuals who did not reside or have any business in those areas (White, 2014). Although the system was successful in reducing the crime rates, it was faced with resistance since it violated the constitutional rights of the residents of Washington, D.C.

Therefore, the short term solution to the aggravated crime is ensuring that there is good lighting in all the streets that are distributed in different parts of the country. The lighting will allow people to walk in the city freely without any attack by unknown people. When there is lighting, it allows the police on patrol to see what could be happening whenever assault happens. They can also trace the suspects on time should it happen. The public should also be cautioned because walking in the streets at night is a risk. Another solution to the assault is allowing the affected individuals to report the issue to the police via a toll-free number (Kaplan, 2019). This is efficient and allows the police to take action on time.

The long term solution is seeing justice through a court of justice. To achieve this, the best way is to use DNA as evidence in court. The rationale of using DNA is because it allows the identification of the suspect, and it allows the court to convict the suspect after going through the trials. The technique is important because the investigating officers collect swabs and other materials that can be found in a crime scene and use them to extract the DNA, thus making it easier to trace the suspect (Bond, 2007). Although it takes longer to get justice, eventually, justice comes with compensation. Another long term solution is fixing surveillance cameras in different parts of the city. These cameras will enable the government and the crime department personnel to monitor the public. Therefore, whenever there is a crime, they can handle the matter. Other crimes can also be solved using this kind of technology.  A third long term solution can be focusing on gun control. The police department should be on the lookout for any flow of illegal guns as a way of reducing armed violence. The solution is supported by the argument that a place with no illegal guns is likely to have no gun deaths.  

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In most cases, the source of the fund is through the government. They are also financed by the board department, such as those of the city council (Schwartz, 2016). The governments have a “use it, or it can lose it” governance on financial budgets made yearly, and other fundamental projects can be at least partially funded by the government with leftover budget monies at the end of the financial year (Schwartz, 2016). The budget for the police and the crime department takes long to be approved because the upper house and the lower house has to pass the budget then it is sent to the president who will then sign it so that the money can be sent to the police department (Schwartz, 2016). As such, it is very important that when the finances are provided by the government, they should be used in the best way possible. The reason is that aggravated crimes are very rampant, and they ought to be given the best attention possible.

Moreover, the state governments avail the grants, but they require an extensive application process. In addition, voters do not approve the grants. The grant requires specific details about the impact that grant funding will have on your community (Zhao et al., 2003). Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, or JAG Grants is a federally funded and administered program for assisting justice programs. Grants are typically targeted at a specific need (Zhao et al., 2003). Often these grants may be used in conjunction with contract pricing due to the high solution customization and budget amounts (Zhao et al., 2003)

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In the outskirts of the city, law enforcement agencies can apply for funding from the USDA’s Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program which provides affordable funds to develop essential community facilities in cities, villages, townships, and towns including the Federally Recognized Tribal Lands with no more than 20,000 residents are eligible for this program (Worrall & Kovandzic, 2007).

As a student, I would involve the police to buy in the idea by requesting a meeting with the police department leaders. During the meeting, I will be able to share my proposal and what I intend to do to help them improve on solving the crimes that are happening each day in the country. First, I will highlight the impacts of the crime to the populations around the city. Then I give my solutions to the challenges that the police are facing each day as they ensure that there is law and order in the country. Examples of the solutions are street lighting, public awareness forums, and the introduction of public camera surveillance (Miller, Hess & Orthmann, 2013). Finally, I will give information on the different ways of sourcing for funds that can be used in combating crime within the city. I will also inform them that I will be willing to participate in the rigorous process of a grant application. I will also help in doing public awareness of aggravated crimes.

From the graph, it is evident that aggravated assault crimes have been increasing over time, but in the year 2015, the crimes were reduced to 2018. Compared with other times of crimes such as rape, property, and different types of theft, the aggravated assault has a high percentage (Bartels et al., 2010). According to the FBI, nearly 7.2 million property crimes across the United States in 2018. Property crimes include motor vehicle theft, burglary, larceny, theft, and arson, and all five of the categories saw a decrease from 2017 (Kaplan, 2019).

Rape was the only violent crime to increase in 2018 from 2017 (Kaplan, 2019). Some 139,380 cases of rape were reported under the revised definition in 2018, up from 135,666 in 2017 (Kaplan, 2019). By comparison, some 101,151 cases of rape were reported under the legacy definition, up from 99,708 in 2017 (Kaplan, 2019). 

The law enforcement agencies should up their game so helpful in solving the crime issues. Despite this difficult task, there is a need to give law enforcement agencies the necessary support that they need. When they have support, especially from government and willing persons, when there is a corporation from all stakeholders, crime will be an issue of the past. There should be community policies that are put in place to ensure that there is an effective reporting mechanism for all types of crimes (Makino, 2001). Again, the police department should create awareness on the need to refrain from crimes and make every family feel appreciated to prevent people from getting involved in crimes. Researchers should also be involved because they will help in finding the various issues that contribute to crime in the city. They also in giving various strategies that are aimed at solving the aggravated assault. The state and no-state actors should also step in to formulate a coordinated approach that will aim at preventing the conditions that prompt people to commit violent crimes. The court is very important in solving aggravated assault, and they need enough financial support for them to discharge their duties on time.

References

Bartels, J. M., Ryan, J. J., Urban, L. S., & Glass, L. A. (2010). Correlations between estimates of state IQ and FBI crime statistics. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(5), 579–583.

Bond, J. W. (2007). Value of DNA evidence in detecting crime. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 52(1), 128–136.

Kaplan, J. (2019). Jacob Kaplan’s Concatenated Files: Uniform Crime Reporting Program Data: Offenses Known and Clearances by Arrest, 1960-2017.

Makino, U. (2001). Final solutions, crimes against mankind: on the genesis and criticism of the concept of genocide. Journal of Genocide Research, 3(1), 49–73.

Miller, L. S., Hess, K. M., & Orthmann, C. M. (2013). Community Policing: Partnerships for Problem Solving. Cengage Learning.

Schwartz, J. C. (2016). How governments pay: Lawsuits, budgets, and police reform. UCLA L. Rev., 63, 1144.

White, M. D. (2014). The New York City Police Department, its crime control strategies and organizational changes, 1970-2009. Justice Quarterly, 31(1), 74–95.

Worrall, J. L., & Kovandzic, T. V. (2007). COPS grants and crime revisited. Criminology, 45(1), 159–190.

Zhao, J. “Solomon,” Scheider, M. C., & Thurman, Q. (2003). A national evaluation of the effect of COPS grants on police productivity (arrests) 1995-1999. Police Quarterly, 6(4), 387–409.