Violent Crime: Perception vs. Reality

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, July 24 2012 at 6:29 PM, Updated: Tue, July 24 2012 at 7:22 PM

After the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado where 12 people died and 58 were injured at a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," more people are on edge, scared about bad things happening.

"You feel like you could be in a safe area and then something bad will happen," said Talent resident Claire Keigher.

With violent crimes like murders, rapes and assaults frequently making the headlines, it's not hard to see why people are a bit more fearful these days.

"I see a lot more on the news about violence," said Jason Trujillo, who lives in Ashland.

"I don't feel safe to go anywhere really," said Keigher.

However, according to official numbers, violent crime has actually gone down. Between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s all violent crime dropped by almost 40% nationally.

Here in the Beaver State, between 1995 and 2009, violent crimes took a nose dive, going down more than 50%.

Here's a breakdown of some of the numbers we found:

Murders went from 108 in 1990 to 91 in 2010. Rapes declined from 1332 to 1214. Robbery dwindled from 4102 to 2390, and assaults also went down from 8863 to 5960.

"I think people are too fearful," said Medford resident, Eric Simpson.

Even while the statistics show violent crimes are decreasing, tragedies like the one in Aurora, Colorado might make it feel that it's not as safe as it used to be.

However, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it's actually safer than it's been in decades.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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