Clarity on Crime Through Data

Defining Crime & Clearance Rate Metrics for a Safer Community

Crime and clearance rates are essential metrics for understanding the safety of a community. The crime rate measures the number of reported crimes per 100,000 people in a given area. The clearance rate is the percentage of reported crimes that were solved.

Understanding these figures, we can better plan for safety and security, create solutions to reduce crime, and increase clearance rates in our communities.

In this article, we will look at historical and current data, tackle factors that impact the data, and review strategies that improve crime and clearance rates.

 Historical Data

Crime rates have steadily declined in the US over the past few decades, while the crime clearance rate has also declined.

In North Dakota, the violent crime rate is the highest in history, while property crime is also rising. Unfortunately, this is happening while the crime clearance rate has remained about the same.

In Fargo, ND, the crime rate has doubled the national average, while the crime clearance rate has remained about the same. In other words, Fargo has more crime with fewer cases being solved.

Exploring Different Factors That Impact Crime and Clearance Rates

Understanding the varying factors affecting crime and clearance rates is essential in creating effective mitigation tactics.  At Proven Justice, we see the world through distinctive human behavior combined with the environment. Crimes and victims require both to occur.

Gun laws, poverty, unemployment, population density, access to resources, and law enforcement practice, among other reasons, can potentially affect crime and clearance rates. These can all be addressed with some success, but something more foundational is missing.

The foundation starts with awareness that the problem exists and understanding it from a level of being able to do something about it. The domino effect works like this:

  1. Without awareness, there will be no action.
  2. No action gives way to criminal opportunity.
  3. Criminal opportunity gives way to high crime rates.
  4. High crime rates quickly outpace investigations.
  5. Outpaced investigations lead to low clearance rates.

Community awareness is the missing foundational piece and not a problem of law enforcement, poverty, population density, or anything else.

Were you surprised at the graphs shared yesterday? You might have been so astonished that you are skeptical. I shared your surprise and skepticism about three years ago.

The deeper I studied, the more concerned I became. It took two years of research to squash my skepticism. It took another year of analysis to build a nonprofit that improves crime and clearance rates.

Strategies for Improving Both Crime and Clearance Rates

Reducing crime and increasing clearance rates is a difficult task. We have developed comprehensive strategies, including business formation and implementing successful processes and programs that focus on the why before the how. We do this through two separate programs.

  • Knowledge Building Program
    • This program works extensively on the awareness of the crime rate paradox. It develops the community knowledge that builds the foundation for a community movement that will reduce the crime rate through data-driven learning.
  • Investigation Program
    • The crime clearance rate is addressed through high-level investigations. This program uses our nonprofit structure to its fullest extent by allowing us to:
      • Separate the financial strain from the victim. We get our financial support primarily from the communities we get to serve, not the victim’s pocketbook.
      • Optimize high-level, weekly training. We do not take cases in place of training.
      • As a result of our case management process, we hire based on organizational fit rather than necessity.
      • Use the community funding for its intended purpose – helping victims. We are not part of a federal, state, or local government trying to fund multiple departments.

While purpose and funding remain connected, the program’s purpose drives success. The community is the driver, not Proven Justice.

Improving Community Safety by Managing Crime & Clearance Rates

Last, we should talk about the validity of the data. To say every number and every graph is exact would be a lie. Through years of analyzing this data, a few things stand out.

  • Incomplete data – There are holes in federal, state, and local data collection, making the problem difficult to dissect.
  • Trends – Although the information collected is incomplete, the trend indicates that the problem likely becomes more substantial with complete data.
  • Different solutions – Decades have passed with little advancement related to these problems.

At Proven Justice, we have built solutions grounded in the community. That is why we are starting with our knowledge-building program first. With community awareness of the fundamental problems, there will be more support. Remember the domino effect? You have to be aware of something before supporting it.

Now that you know this information, what happens next? We are looking for ways to connect with individuals and groups of all types to extend our reach with the knowledge-building program. Awareness is the first step to a safer community. Please contact us if you know someone or have a group that could benefit from a free session or personal consultation about crime and victims in your area.