Crime Really Doesn't Pay Now
It is getting harder to make a dishonest living these days. In particular, burglaring doesn't pay any more, just as running a movie rental outlet doesn't pay, or running a shop that makes photo copies. Technology is rendering old fashioned property crimes, at least, somewhat obsolete.
Most of us know now that crime rates have been going down, even during the recession (or whatever it is we have been in since 2008). One happy effect in social science is an end to claims that bad times cause bad crimes. It never was true. Crime rates were low in the Great Depression and high in the roaring '60s. Now even the media have caught on.
So what does account for falling crime rates? Several ideas are offered, and each has some validity. The most obvious explanation is that we have more criminals in prison now than ever before. For example, they can't rob people (except maybe other prisoners) when they are behind bars.
One excellent analysis was offered in the Wall Street Journal by James Q. Wilson, who sites a number of factors.
Dr. Wilson, the Christian Science Monitor and others make good points.
I'd just add this one, at least apropos property crimes such as burglaries and robberies: There is not as much around to steal that one can sell easily, and selling it doesn't bring in enough for a crook to live on.
1) There's not as much money lying around to steal. Pick someone's pockets and you'll find slim pickin's. You can't use the credit cards for long and the ATM cards are useless without the pin number. People just don't carry as much cash on them these days and they don't have it around the house, either.