Reuters: Study says immigrants and crime rate not linked



Hi Blog. Not Japan in specific, but here’s a study disconnecting the assertion that more immigration means more crime, boilerplate amongst the elites and police forces in Japan. Arudou Debito in Miyazaki

Rising immigration not linked to crime rates: study
Reuters Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:26pm EDT
Courtesy of Labor Exchange dot com.

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – Contrary to common beliefs, rising immigration levels do not drive up crime rates, particularly in poor communities, and Mexican-Americans are the least likely to commit crimes, according to a new study.

Robert Sampson, a sociologist at Harvard University who studied crime and immigration in 180 neighborhoods in Chicago over seven years, found that first-generation immigrants were 45 percent less likely to commit violent acts than third generation Americans.

“Immigrants have lower rates of crime and there is a negative correlation between the trends,” Sampson said in an interview.

The study, which is published Contexts, a journal of the American Sociological Association, showed that incentive to work, ambition and a desire not to be deported were common reasons cited for first generation immigrants, especially Mexicans, not to commit crimes.

Sampson also studied data from police records, the U.S Census and surveyed more than 8,000 Chicago residents. The study showed there was significant immigration growth, including illegal aliens-in the mid-1990s, peaking at the end of the decade.

But during that time the national homicide rate plunged. Crime also dropped in immigration hot spots, such as Los Angeles, where it fell 45 percent overall, San Jose, Dallas and Phoenix.

Sampson argues that public perception drives a large part of the debate so its easy for politicians to blame illegal immigration for driving up the crime rate. Although it is difficult to point to any data to substantiate it, not many people question it.

“There is a pretty powerful underlying current of belief in society that is pretty resistant, stubborn if you will to the facts,” Sampson said.


3 comments on “Reuters: Study says immigrants and crime rate not linked

  • OperationNorthwoods says:

    This is a painful topic for most people, as the emotions get hot. Perhaps you can humor a devil’s advocate for a minute.

    A few things that need to be considered, though, are:

    -Immigrant-on-immigrant crime may not be reported.
    -Lots of folks in the US have given up on reporting things to the police. I know I did.
    -The text above emphasizes violent crime, but property crime has been the bigger complaint.
    -The police in some parts of the US are encouraged to treat illegal immigrants differently than
    others. The powers-that-be want lots of immigrants for various reasons, so the police don’t
    want to make waves.
    -It’s going to be hard to convince sceptics that Harvard is objective about these things.

  • That is a good article. I always knew that the crime rate was not higher due to immigration.

    Many Japanese are ill informed when they believe that crime is higher among the immigrant population.

  • Migrant crime wave a myth – police study
    Acpo report concludes offending no worse than rest of the population
    Vikram Dodd, crime correspondent
    The Guardian, Wednesday April 16 2008

    A wide-ranging police study has concluded that the surge in immigrants from eastern Europe to Britain has not fuelled a rise in crime, the Guardian has learned.

    The findings will be presented to the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, tomorrow when she meets chief constables to discuss the issue. Several of them had complained that they needed more money to deal with increases in migrant populations in their areas. However, the study prepared for the Association of Chief Police Officers challenges claims that up to 1 million people from EU accession countries have caused a rise in criminality.

    The report finds that, despite newspaper headlines linking new migrants to crime, offending rates among mainly Polish, Romanian and Bulgarian communities are in line with the rate of offending in the general population.

    A senior source with close knowledge of the report said: “Any rise has been broadly proportionate to the number of people from those communities coming into this country. People are saying crime is rising because of this influx. Given 1 million people have come in, that doesn’t make sense as crime is significantly down.”

    The fall in the annual crime rate in England and Wales is accelerating, with a drop of 9% recorded by police in the year to September 2007, according to Home Office figures published earlier this year.

    The report by Grahame Maxwell, chief constable of North Yorkshire, and Peter Fahy, who leads the Cheshire force, says that “resentment and misunderstanding” about why new migrants are coming to Britain has stoked tensions. It calls for businesses benefiting from the new workers to do a better job of explaining the economic benefit of migrant workers.

    The report says: “While overall this country has accommodated this huge influx with little rise in community tension, in some areas sheer numbers, resentment and misunderstanding, have created problems.” It adds that the immigration from eastern Europe has been different to previous arrivals, because it happened much more quickly. The report says that new migrants may be more likely to commit certain types of offences. Polish people are linked to drink-driving, and problems have arisen in central London with some Romanian children being used by adults to commit petty robberies.

    There are also problems with people trafficking and exploitation, but while these may be more likely in some migrant communities, other types of offences are less likely to occur.

    The reports calls for new agreements with east European countries to share intelligence and information on less serious crimes, such as domestic violence and serial theft.

    It also calls for immigration authorities, schools and the health service to share information with police about new nationalities in their areas.

    The report is primarily based on intelligence gathered by detectives about crime patterns in different areas of England and Wales. Police recording codes only contains the category “white Europeans” covering people originating from France to the Urals. The report says more analysis is needed.

    The source with close knowledge of the report said: “Given the number coming into the country, the problems have been very few in terms of criminality, increases in crime or community tensions.

    “Most are coming here to earn money, most are professionals with qualifications, and they work then go home.”

    The report says areas that have faced most demands include Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire because of the demand for agricultural workers, as well as Slough. Cambridgeshire’s chief constable, Julie Spence, has warned of increased demands on her force and Kent’s chief constable, Mike Fuller, also reportedly wrote to ministers saying that the government’s failure to give his force more money was not taking account of the extra demands on his officers.


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