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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Violence en hausse aux États-Unis

by Jacques Coubard

Violence on the Increase in the USA

Translated Tuesday 10 April 2007, by Emily Schirrer www.wordpro-translations.com

Washington. The crime rate continues to rise despite ultra-safe policies.

Violent crime has been seeing a steady increase in the USA since 2005, escalating,
in the first half of this year, by 2.7%. Last year, crime rose 2.5% – the most
significant increase since 1990.
FBI statistics, released this week, show that cities with 500,000 to a million
inhabitants had the most marked increase in violence. The larger cities are
witnessing somewhat conflicting fates however: violence is on the decline in Los
Angeles, steady in New York, and seeing a phenomenal rise in Houston, the capital of
The police have been the first to react to these worrying statistics. Gene R.
Voegtlin, representative of the leading police union, the Fraternal Order of Police,
is concerned about federal government cut backs of State Police funding. The pursuit
of terrorism and espionage of American citizens, by the federal police
(FBI), are benefiting from this funding at the expense of local-level police work,
who have dropped in number by 10% since 2001.
In addition to the budgetary factor, according to the Washington Post, experts blame
the increase in drug use, and the lack of employment for young people living on the
fringe of society, and funding, dedicated to preventive action.
The government chose instead to tighten repressive laws, which resulted in the
imprisonment of 7 million people i.e. one in thirty-two Americans. They consequently
achieved a world record, just ahead of China. Ryan King, head of a group requesting
the reform of the penal system, considers that these figures prove that “the social
programmes have failed, including those devoted to education, poverty, urban
development, and health and child care”.
In a country where the death penalty, overflowing prisons, zero tolerance and the
‘Taser’ (the new weapon capable of striking down suspects at a distance) are an
integral part of police work, government choices could become one of the issues of
the presidential elections of 2008.
This should be noted by any who are inspired by the American model of security.

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