Burying The Numbers

Posted: September 24, 2008 in Just "Why?"

Just a little something I noticed.

I find it very interesting that I can easily find the number of causalities in Iraq amongst our soldiers, but unable to find the total number of gang-related homicides for any given year.

Search terms used:

Gang-related, homicides, United States (nope)
Gang, homicides, total, U.S. (nope)
Gang-related, homicides (nope)

Here’s one…
Gang crime, homicides, by state~

Found the following:

Tracking of Gang-Related Crime Falls Short

Without accurate data, experts say, Los Angeles and other cities can’t effectively stem the violence.
By Megan Garvey and Richard Winton
Times Staff Writers
January 24 2003

Decades after authorities identified gangs as a growing and deadly menace in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities, the tracking of gang-related crime remains sporadic and incomplete, with no statistics at all kept in many jurisdictions.

National gang experts say the result has been a generation’s worth of policy decisions, anti-gang programs and law enforcement initiatives based on social theories and public fear instead of verifiable trends.

With no means to track gang-related crime accurately, experts say, it is impossible for cities to know how to reduce gang violence. Authorities even disagree on what a gang crime is.

“What are the dimensions of the problem? Are they smaller or greater than people think?” asked John Moore, director of the Florida-based National Youth Gang Center. “I get calls all the time asking me for comparative information, and we have no way of doing that because we have no standardized system, and police departments aren’t required to keep track of it.”

Even without such statistics, California has spent more than $57 million on gang violence suppression since 1991. But the Office of Criminal Justice Planning, which oversees the spending, doesn’t collect the data needed to verify whether any of the programs work, according to a report last year by the state’s nonpartisan legislative analyst’s office. (more…)

Just a minor update to the above article. Los Angeles as of last year has spent a total of $80 billion in the last 25 years.

So Los Angeles has spent about $80 billion dollars to deal with gangs, and they have no way of telling what crimes are gang-related? And according to the above excerpt, other cities are having the same problem with collecting data? Roughly 237 homicides have taken place in the city of Philadelphia this year and we have no way of telling what percentage of that was gang-related? 524 killed throughout the Los Angeles area this year alone? Just those two cities alone add up to 761 homicides just this year alone.

Next Google search: soldiers killed, Iraq
Bingo! You want charts or just the straight data?

As of August of this year: About 375 soldiers have been killed.

  1. IPress says:

    I know some are, going to take this the wrong way, but I will say it anyway….. why should the government care that we are killing each other? I mean they probably think we are doing them a favor.
    We kill each other over colors, women, men, territory, and even looking at some one the wrong way.
    Twenty yrs ago, my boyfriend (husband now) had a gun pulled on us because we accidently bumped into some dude who was apparently trying to impress the guys he was with. Given the fact that we were at a county fair, bumping into someone seemed inevitable, you say excuse me, you move on. This person, and I use that term loosely, didn’t hear us say ‘excuse me’…probably because he had his ‘theme music’ blasting, and he turned to let us know we had bumped him, and proudly displayed his gun. So we said again, ‘excuse me’….and he mumbled something under his breath and walked away.
    So…. like I said in the beginning…. why should the government care that we are killing each other?

  2. Duane says:

    why should the government care that we are killing each other?

    It’s not the government that should “care” here.

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