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41% See Higher Crime Over Past Year, 84% Predict Economy Will Cause More

More adults than ever report that crime in their community has increased over the past year, and most think the continuing bad economy will cause the crime rate to rise even higher.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults finds that 41% say crime in their community has increased over the past year, representing a 14-point jump from last July. Only six percent (6%) say crime has decreased in their area, while 49% say the level of crime has stayed about the same. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In March 2009, 32% said crime had increased in their area over the previous year.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of Americans believe it’s at least somewhat likely that current economic conditions will lead to increased crime, including 54% who see this as Very Likely. Only 13% say it’s not very or not at all likely the bad economy will lead to a rise in crime. The number that says crime is likely to increase due to the poor economy is up from 78% last year.

Overall, 83% of adults say crime is at least somewhat of a serious problem in America today, including 47% who say it’s Very Serious. Only 13% say crime in America is not very serious, if at all.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.  

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on June 25-26, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. 

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