Against the background of an increase in serious crimes and a reduction in police funding, the authorities are not always able to resist criminals.
The American capital – Washington, DC – this week registered grim statistics: since the beginning of the year, the two hundredth murder has already been committed in the city. Washington has not seen such a level of serious crimes in the last 18 years. This news coincided with a surge in group store robberies in different states. However, law enforcement agencies that are dealing with a shortage of funds and personnel are often unable to withstand the growing wave of violence.
The increase in the number of murders in the American capital forced Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser to announce that the city authorities are starting to work closely with law enforcement officers this week to stop the wave of violence. Among the measures are strengthening street patrols and increasing the amount of remuneration for providing police with information about crimes.
If in 2019 the number of murders in the U.S. capital was 166, and in 2020 – 198, then this year the 200 mark was overcome even before the onset of December.
The Washington Police Union points out that it is necessary not only to strengthen measures to combat crime but also to strengthen the staff and funding of law enforcement agencies.
“The increase in crime is explained by many reasons. One of them is the implementation by the municipality of the District of Columbia of a police “reform,” the consequences of which were not properly thought out. In addition to this, the desire of the County Council to steadily reduce the staff and funding of the police department hangs over our city like a thundercloud. Other major cities [in the USA], in which similar imprudent measures were taken, also experienced a mass departure of employees from the ranks of the police. Those who remain have difficulty performing – if at all capable of performing – the duties necessary to confiscate illegal weapons, catch dangerous criminals, and protect residential neighborhoods,” D.C. Police Union said in a statement on November 23, 2021.
In cities where budget and law enforcement staff cuts have been carried out, the surge in crime, including cases of violent offenses, is especially noticeable.
“I talked to police officers of different levels. They have anxiety about how they will be able to perform their duties now, in an atmosphere of public antipathy to law enforcement,” says Jonathan McReynolds, pastor of the Baptist Church of Rochester, New York, where the number of violent crimes has also increased this year. – And I want to state loudly and clearly: law enforcement agencies do not need reform. Reform is needed only in some areas. But while we are trying to reorganize law enforcement agencies, we cannot restrict them to such an extent that they will not be able to protect citizens.”
Over the past week, organized robberies of expensive stores have occurred in various cities of the United States. The raiders break into the trading halls, grab everything from the shelves in a matter of seconds, and run away. So, the recent raid on the Nordstrom store in Los Angeles was carried out by 18 people, at least 14 at the Louis Vuitton store in Chicago. About 80 people participated in group robberies of shopping malls in San Francisco and its environs.
Experts in the field of law enforcement confirm that in conditions of a shortage of personnel in the police and judicial bodies, those accused of, say, petty theft can easily avoid a prison term.
In same California, theft of up to $ 950 is classified as hooliganism, not a crime. That’s why cases of this kind are not a priority for prosecutors now. According to judicial statistics, this type of organized robbery costs retail chains $45 billion annually.