Crime remains to be the most important issue on the national and international agenda according to many polls. This has been witnessed by the United States commitment to end crime and terrorism that has resulted to diplomatic problems between the United States, Iraq and Afghanistan. People of all races are concerned about the safety of their lives and property. It’s the wish of all mankind that governments, legislators and law enforcers develop an effective and efficient strategy to ensure safety for all by reducing crime rates.
Crime statistics are important and many international organizations such as the United Nations and Interpol. The Federal Bureau of Investigations in the United States study’s and publishes crime statistics on the many types of crimes especially in the United States.
The major focus of this article is to study the crime statistics and characteristics in the Hawaii, U.S.A. It attempts to compare both violent and property crime in Hawaii to the national statistics in the United States of America. It shall also attempt to come up with the safest and most crime prone county in the state. A description of the demographic characteristics and their influence on the crime statistics in these counties shall be a major point of discussion in this article.
The state of Hawaii is one of the many states that make the United States of America. According to the United States population census, the state has a total population of 1,295,178 inhabitants (results extrapolated from the 2000 census). This represents about 0.4% of the United States national population totals. Of these, 50.2% are males while 49.8% are females.
This population ranks the Hawaii state as the 42nd state in terms of population density. This state has a total crime index of 3936.0 incidents reported per every 100,000 people. This ranks the state as the 6th in crime index in the United States.
Violent crime reported in Hawaii totaled to an incident rate of 274.8 per 100,000 people, ranking Hawaii as the 43rd highest occurrence in the United States. For property crimes, the incidents reported amounted to 3661.2 for every 100,000 people, this ranks Hawaii as the second highest I terms of property crime in the national outlook. Murders, forced rape, robbery, aggravated assaults and burglaries reported indices as 1.7, 30.3, 79.8, 160.0, 708.6, per every 100,000 of the total population. This ranked the state as the 36th, 33rd, 26th, 45th and 13th respectively compared to the other states in the United States. http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/
The United States national crime statistics according to the 2009 FBI Universal Crime Statistics as follows. Violent crime rates stood at 429.6 offences for every 100000 people, property crime of 3036.1 per 100000. In terms of property crime, Hawaii ranks lower with a 274.8 per 100000 as compared to the United States average national statistics of 429.6 as shown above. It however ranks higher in terms of property crimes, Hawaii ranks higher than the average national crime rate of 3036.1, since it has an index of 3661.2.
The following table illustrates the crime indices of various counties in Hawaii as at 2009. It shall be used to determine the safest and most crime prone county in the state.
|State of Hawaii||Honolulu county||Hawaii county||Maui county||Kauai county|
|Total crime index||3964.1||3962.3||3535.2||4229.5||4583.3|
|Property index crimes||3688.6||3682.4||3268.8||3996.7||4247.7|
SOURCE: THE UNITED STATES BUREAU OF THE CENSUS.
The above table clearly illustrates the crime statistics in four major counties in Hawaii and also the overall state level of crime from the table above, its evident that the Hawaii County has the lowest levels of crime with an overall index of 3535.2 incidences of crime per every 100,000 persons in the country. This county reported a violent crime index of 266.4 and a property crime index of 3268.8. The highest crime incidents have also been reported in the Kauai County. This county reported the highest crime rate of 4583.3 crime incidents per every 100,000 persons. Violent crime index in this county was 335.6 while the property crime index amounted to 4247.7 crime incidents per every 100 000 persons.
There are several factors that have contributed to the disparities in the crime levels in these counties. These are the factors that influence crime levels in the world and may not be unique to the above counties only. They include population characteristics, economic conditions, and climatic conditions, amongst others. The population composition of a particular country has also been found to contribute to the crime levels in the country. The following are the demographic characteristics of both Hawaii and Kauai counties.
HAWAII, COUNTY DEMOGRAPHIC DATA
|Persons under 5 years old, percent, 2009||6.7%|
|Persons under 18 years old, percent, 2009||22.4%|
|Persons 65 years old and over, percent, 2009||14.1%|
|Female persons, percent, 2009||49.7%|
|White persons, percent, 2009 (a)||38.3%|
|Black persons, percent, 2009 (a)||0.7%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2009 (a)||0.8%|
|Asian persons, percent, 2009 (a)||23.5%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2009 (a)||11.5%|
|Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2009||25.0%|
|Bachelor’s degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+,||22.1%|
|High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+||84.6%|
|Land area, (square miles)||4,028.02|
|Persons per square mile||36.9|
|Median household income||$62,501|
|Per capita money income||$20,301|
SOURCE: UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU
KAUAI COUNTY, DEMOGRAPHIC DATA
|Persons under 5 years old, percent, 2009||6.4%|
|Persons under 18 years old, percent, 2009||22.7%|
|Persons 65 years old and over, percent, 2009||14.9%|
|Female persons, percent, 2009||49.8%|
|White persons, percent, 2009 (a)||36.1%|
|Black persons, percent, 2009 (a)||1.0%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2009 (a)||0.5%|
|Asian persons, percent, 2009 (a)||32.0%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2009 (a)||9.3%|
|Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2009||21.4%|
|Bachelor’s degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+,||19.4%|
|High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+||83.3%|
|Land area, (square miles)||622.44|
|Persons per square mile,||94.0|
|Median household income||$51,402|
|Per capita money income||$18,791|
SOURCE: UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU
According to information sourced from FBI, the increased levels of crime are as a result of a number of factors. Most of these factors are more inclined towards the demographic and economic factors. They are explained below
Residential population and population density- according to the FBI, areas with a higher population density are likely to have a high level of crime. Most of the crimes perpetuated by a population with these characteristics include burglaries, domestic assaults, and motor thefts. The state of Kauai is the most populated area in this state with 94 people per square mile. Hawaii on the other hand has a population density of 36.9 people per square mile. This explains the high crime rates in the county as compared to the other counties. It also explains the high incidences of property crimes.
Commercial and educational establishments – there are many commercial establishments in the Kauai County as a result of the high population density. These commercial establishments have been found to be good breeding grounds for criminals with a big number of them involving larcenies from buildings, motor vehicle theft, and burglaries among others. The Kauai County has many commercial establishments compared to most of the other counties and this has led to the high crime rates.
Age composition of the population-according to FBI the age composition of a state also influences its crime rates. Ages of between 15 and 24 are the most common perpetrators of crime in these areas. Kauai has a high of 22.7 compared to the 22.4% in the Hawaii County. The high population of the people less than 18 years in Kauai is a major contributor of crime rates in the county as compared to others.
Economic conditions and poverty levels- the high levels of crime in this county has also resulted from the high levels of unemployed of the youth graduating from the educational institutions. There is more unemployment in Kauai because of its higher population compared to the other counties. Hawaii on the other hand is safer because the population is relatively stable with a good per capita income.
Racial composition- analysis of the NCVS data shows that racial composition also has an influence on the frequency and nature of crime perpetuated in a state. The blacks have been found to perpetuate more crime than any of the other racial groups in a state. The larger number of blacks in Kauai is a significant cause of crime in this county.