WRAL posted an article today quoting Roy Cooper talking about the 2012 Crime Statistics. The initial reaction to the 2012 Annual Summary statistics is one of joy. It looks like overall crime is on its way down in North Carolina, including juvenile crimes. If North Carolina is doing so well deterring juvenile crime why would we need to change the system?
Figures show that North Carolina juvenile crime fell by 12 percent last year, continuing a five-year trend that has seen the number of arrests among juveniles under age 18 drop by 30 percent since 2008. The overall crime rate decreased 4.4 percent last year, though the rate of violent crime ticked up slightly.
While there may be a little relief from the numbers in North Carolina we still need to be on edge with what is happening around the country. National figures on juvenile crimes by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveal that from 2002 to 2012, there has been a 143 percent increase in the number of rapes by juveniles. In the same period, figures of murders committed by minors went up by 87 percent while there has been a whopping 500 percent increase in the number of kidnappings of women and girls by minors.
Violent crimes are defined as murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault according to the report. Property crimes include burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Just because the crime rate has decreased in North Carolina of late doesn’t mean that we should go softer on offenders or change legislation. State lawmakers should ensure the spikes in juvenile crime sweeping the nation don’t come to our state.