Violent crime fell by less than 1 percent in the first half of 2017, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is giving all the credit to President Donald Trump.
The FBI released preliminary crime data for the first half of 2017 this week, finding that violent crime fell by 0.8 percent nationally, and Sessions credits the drop to Trump’s willingness to “place trust in prosecutors,” according to his editorial published in USA Today. The slight drop came after a dramatic 5.3 percent increase in violent crime in 2016.
“Trump ran for office on a message of law and order, and he won. When he took office, he ordered the Department of Justice to stop and reverse these trends — and that is what we have been doing every day for the past year,” Sessions wrote. “We have placed trust in our prosecutors again, and we’re restoring respect for law enforcement. We have invested in new resources and put in place smarter policies based on sound research.”
According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, murder bucked the trend of other crimes and increased by 1.5 percent. However, rape fell 2.4 percent, robbery fell 2.2 percent, aggravated assault fell 0.1 percent, property crime fell 2.9 percent, burglary fell by 6.1 percent and larceny-theft fell 3 percent. Despite the drop, violent crime is still more than 5 percent higher than 2013 levels.
“Our strategy at this department of concentrating on the most violent criminals, taking down violent gang networks, prioritizing gun prosecutions, and supporting our state, local and tribal law enforcement partners has proven to work,” Sessions wrote. “Of course, our work is not done. Crime is still far too high — especially in the most vulnerable neighborhoods.”
Major Travis Yates is the founder of the Courageous Leadership Institute and is in upper management at a major city police department. He cautions any leader from taking too much credit for a fluctuating crime rate.
“There is no question that law enforcement has been bolstered and encouraged by the renewed emphasis on violent crime and gang members but by taking credit for a slight crime reduction, the same leader needs to be prepared to take the blame for a crime increase,” Yates told us.
The truth is that fighting crime can actually increase some of the crime numbers.
Yates said that “if the public trusts law enforcement to capture criminals, they are more likely to report crime which increases the actual crime rate.”