Blue collar crime is typically used to describe criminal activity that occurs from lower social classes in any given society. The term comes from a phrase that has been used for generation to describe the average American worker that does manual labor to earn a living. Janitors, construction workers, or production laborers all qualify as blue collar workers.
In 2012, there was a burglary that occurred every 15 seconds and a robbery that happened every 1.5 minutes.
Blue Collar Crime
In legal terms, blue collar crime is generally something that happens to harm someone or someone’s property. It tends to be more obvious and tends to happen within the general confines of society instead of within the job responsibilities that someone has. Assaults, burglaries, illicit drug distribution, and any violent act all qualify has blue collar crime.
- It takes the average burglar just 60 seconds to break into a home. The more difficult a home is to access, the less likely it is to be robbed.
- 90% of convicted burglars stated that they would avoid a home that had an alarm system installed on it.
- 6 out of 10 burglars used a forcible entry to gain access to a home.
- The percentage of burglars who entered a residence through an unlocked door or window: 30%.
- In 2012, an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 0.7% from the 2011 estimate.
- The 2012 numbers are estimated to be about 12% lower than the numbers from 5 years and 10 years ago.
- Aggravated assaults accounted for more than 62% of the violent crimes that were reported to law enforcement.
- Murder accounted for just 1.2% of the reported violent crime in the United States.
- Homes without alarm systems are 3 times more likely to be burglarized than those with an alarm system.
- Although there were over 50,000 arson reports in 2012, the leading cause of home fires continues to be cooking.
- The primary reason why smoke detectors don’t work in an emergency is because their batteries have been removed.
Blue collar crime is often taken more seriously than white collar crime because of its violent nature. When violence, theft, and other assaults take place, people become physically hurt. There’s actually an order to the levels of blue collar crime that are committed. Murder is at the top of the list, followed by manslaughter, forced rape, robbery, and then aggravated assault. At the bottom of the list is grand theft auto. Interestingly enough, arson doesn’t actually make the list. The good news is that for the past decade, these trends have been going lower. The problem is that these figures are starting to rise once again.
Is It Time To Be Concerned About Blue Collar Crime?
- Law enforcement agencies throughout the US reported a decrease of 5.4% in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first 6 months of 2013.
- The number of property crimes had the same percentage of reduction as violent crimes in the first two quarters of 2013.
- Even though violent crime increased in 2012, property crimes decreased by 0.9%, which was the 10th straight year a decline was seen.
- Homicide rates are at the lowest levels since 1960, at just 4.7 per 100,000.
- In 2013, the overall violent crime rate declined slightly from 26.1 to 23.2 victimizations per 1,000 residents.
- The problem is that many blue collar crimes are not reported to law enforcement officials. One half of all violent crime and 40% of property crime goes unreported annually.
The issue that we have with blue collar crime is that many of the victims actually know the perpetrators of the crime that is committed. This is one of the primary reasons why all crime goes unreported. It goes beyond just theft or a simple break-in when no one is home. Rape goes unreported. Violent assaults go unreported. Sometimes even murder goes unreported. With millions of crimes reported every year, hundreds of thousands of crimes go unreported and victims never really get the help that they need. That’s why we should all be concerned about the levels of crime that we see. It is positive that crime rates are going down, but there are hundreds of thousands of victims who don’t get help, for whatever reason, and that needs to stop.
Do We Have A Good Reason To Have Hope?
- Juvenile blue collar crime is at its lowest levels since 1987 and it fell 30% between 1994-1998.
- Except for murder, juveniles make up 25% of the serious violent crimes that have occurred over the last 25 years.
- Approximately 104,000 juvenile arrests that occur annually are for violent crime.
- Between 1992 and 1997, 44 states and the District of Columbia passed laws making it facilitating the transfer of juveniles to the adult system.
- African American juveniles are held in residential custody when arrested at 5 times the rate of white juveniles.
Some crime continues to happen at astounding rates. In the US, a motor vehicle is stolen every 43 seconds. These thefts cost the insurance industry more than $40 billion every year. Yet with just a few hiccups in the statistics, there are declines happening across the board. Crime has been trending lower for the last 20 years for the most part. This means that we are all doing something right. We aren’t perfect because there are still millions of crimes that are happening every year, but as a society we seem to be on the right path. That’s why there is reason to have hope that we’re working on solving the issue of blue collar crime. The biggest change that could be made right now is to report a blue collar crime when you see it happen or if you are a victim. That’s the best way to stop crime before it starts.