Thursday, September 07, 2006

Upswing in crime reporting

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (as of April 2006) reported a trend in an increased reporting of crimes.

True crime books have been around for a long time, many written by respected authors. Readers want to know what happened? What makes a person turn to murder? What did they gain? How can it be prevented? True crime buffs and those who read this genre may have already been more aware than others about the level of crimes occurring within our nation.

However, since John Walsh's America's Most Wanted aired, there has been what some call an awakening of the American public to the crimes carried on around them every day. Seeing the bad guy/girl captured to face justice brings intense satisfaction to many people.

Since that time, public awareness has increased. This is possibly due to an increase in the popularity of other true crime shows on A&E, CourtTV and other television programming. Another trend is the interest sparked by the burgeoning number of crime blogs and message boards on the Internet and of those who follow cases in the news.

News stories about persons who've fought back against crime have been more frequent. Stories about those who've experienced crime and decided to research, pursue and bring to justice those who committed the crime.

Stories about people who feel compelled to help a family search for a missing loved one or those
who were instrumental in finding bodies. Stories about those who volunteer their equipment,
time and their hearts to help others find answers.

Those stories, and events, such as memorial services or motorcycle rides, candlelight vigils, a news article recapping a crime and a victim's life all serve to remind us all of the evil that exists in some people's minds.

911 and the subsequent terrorism crimes against human kind have made even more people aware. Sniper shootings in public places. In our schools. People are realizing it could happen anywhere.

Whatever the reason(s) for the heightened awareness and willingness to report crimes, there still is a long way to go.

It is however, a positive and hopeful sign. Perhaps it's an indication that people are fed up with crime and want to make a difference in their lives, the lives of their children, and their community.

Stay safe. Be aware. Even online.